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Iconic firefighter from OKC bombing retires

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KFOR)-- Chris Fields is retiring from his 31-year career as an Oklahoma City firefighter. Over the course of three decades, he’s seen everything but nothing could have prepared Chris for April 19, 1995.

"I was at Fire Station Number 5 at N.W. 22nd and Broadway. I felt it. We were standing in the station around the kitchen. We heard the boom and felt the station rattle. We looked outside and saw the plume of smoke and self-dispatched ourselves," Fields remembers.

"The way that building is sheered off and stuff was still floating down, I can remember walking on glass," Fields continued. "I don't know when we were walking on pavement. It was just debris, glass, paper, all sorts of things."

When an Oklahoma City police sergeant gave Chris the critical infant he was cradling, the father of two couldn't help but ache for a mother he did not know.

"I'm thinking, wow, somebody's world is about to turn upside down today. It's still tough to talk about. It's always worse when it involves a child. When you have kids, it affects you a little more," Fields said.

The 1-year-old later passed away. But, that tender moment caught on film would become an international symbol for the bombing and a rallying cry for justice.

Captain Fields’ indelible image is a centerpiece of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum.

" There were a lot of heroes that day. Everybody from people digging, bringing socks. It was crazy the response of the citizens," Fields said.

Years of counseling for PTSD and a sturdy faith helped him conquer the demons of April 19th.

After 31 years, Chris Fields is looking forward to the next chapter of his life.

"That's my plan to embrace life, treasure every minute. It's all roses from here," he said.

Information provided by KFOR. 

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