A little over a year ago, firefighter Daniel Lyon, 26, barely survived a deadly fire that burned 70 percent of his body and killed three of his fellow firefighters. Since then, Lyon has made great progress on his journey to recovery, and he has even found love.
Prior to the fire, Lyon was single. During his recovery, his friend Megan Lanfear was there for him every step of the way, and their friendship evolved into something much deeper.
“Your friend’s in a fire, or any kind of accident, you’re gonna want to be there for him,” Lanfear told Inside Edition. “After all he’s been through, he still always has a smile on his face. And he’s super strong. He’s a really good person.”
On August 19, 2015, Lyon and three of his fellow firefighters were trying to fight the unruly Twisp River wildfires in Washington when the blaze exploded. The firefighters tried to escape the fire, but the lack of visibility caused them to crash their rig, which was quickly engulfed in the flames.
Lyon was lucky to make it out of the fire with his life, but he certainly didn’t escape unscathed — almost his entire body suffered severe burns, except for his ankles and feet, which were protected by his boots, and his eyes, which were protected by his sunglasses.
It’s been more than a year since the fire and Lyon is making good progress with his recovery, although he acknowledges that he has a long road ahead of him. He now spends his days at doctors’ offices, occupational therapy sessions and physical therapy sessions. Even after a year of intensive therapy, Lyon still suffers from pain.
“You’ll hear the scars, they can crack sometimes,” Lyon says. “Yeah, it hurts.”
Lyon knows that he will likely spend the next ten years or so in and out of the surgery room, as well as various doctors’ rooms and therapy sessions. In addition to his physical pain, Lyon also struggles with grief over losing three of his fellow firefighters. Yet despite all of the hardships he faces on a daily basis, Lyon still has a positive outlook on life.
“I try to think of myself as my old me and just a regular human,” he said.
Lyon’s girlfriend has played a large role in his recovery, both physically and emotionally. After seeing the external physical damage the fire caused, Lyon remembers thinking, “How am I going to get a relationship?”
Meanwhile, Lanfear heard that Lyon had been severely injured in a fire, and she rushed to the hospital. Even though his face was covered in bandages, she recognized him immediately because of his eyes. (Thank goodness for those sunglasses.)