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Firefighter severely injured in Twisp wildfire a year ago talks of tragedy, triumph

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SEATTLE -- Friday marks one year since the wildfires in Twisp that killed three firefighters.

The sole survivor, Daniel Lyon Jr., spoke to Q13 News about the anniversary of the tragedy and his recovery.

“It’s painful, it’s uncomfortable,” Lyon said.

Every step is hard but Lyon is grateful he can still walk.

“My look has changed, the way I walk has changed, so having confidence to keep your head up high is important,” Lyon said.

That confidence comes from knowing that his scars tell a story -- a story of triumph over tragedy.

“It has made me realize what's really important in life,” Lyon said.

He and three of his fellow firefighters were overrun by a fast-moving wildfire in Twisp.

His three friends were killed and Lyon suffered burns to nearly 70% of his body.

“I’ve spoken a lot about my recovery and all that, but today isn’t about any of that. It’s about my brothers, I think about those guys so much on a daily basis,” Lyon said.

The emotional scars are as painful as the physical challenges.

“There are days you don’t want to get out of bed, you are depressed, you are sore, everything hurts,” Lyon said.

During those times he looks to others for inspiration.

“I’ve gotten to meet amputees, double amputees, quadriplegics,” Lyon said.

And his parents have been pivotal in his recovery. He's in therapy five days a week, five hours a day.

“It’s my dream to get into law enforcement again, work alongside the same brothers and sisters I did before,” Lyon said.

Lyon has a lot to live for; he's even already dating.

“I think I pursued her the most and it ended up working out,” Lyon said.

His girlfriend, Megan, makes him smile, a smile we also saw at Thursday's Seahawks preseason game against the Vikings when he raised the 12th Man flag.

“It was humbling and a huge honor for me having to do that,” Lyon said.

Lyon says life is all about perspective and that knowing everyone has unique struggles.

He has every intention on overcoming his battle and hopes one day to be a full-time police officer.

Before the wildfires, the 26-year-old was a police officer for Milton.

On Saturday, the city of Milton will have a parade and the former firefighter has been invited to be the Grand Marshal.

At the parade, he will be wearing his police uniform for the first time since the wildfire.