Firefighter who survived hostage situation gets engaged - New York News

Firefighter who survived hostage situation gets engaged

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Victoria Huggins and firefighter Chip Echols got engaged after a dangerous hostage situation. Victoria Huggins and firefighter Chip Echols got engaged after a dangerous hostage situation.
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -

A Gwinnett County firefighter who made it out safely from a hostage situation is going for a new title: husband.

Six firefighters were held hostage by a man who allegedly faked a medical call at a Suwanee home last month. That suspect, Lauren Brown, was shot and killed after SWAT team members ended the four-hour hostage situation.

Chip Echols was one of the firefighters. While he was being held, he sent text messages to his girlfriend, Victoria Huggins.

"He texted me immediately saying that he loved me," said Huggins. "And then about the same time, it came across the news --  hostage situation. And all I could ask him was, ‘are you one of them?' And when he responded, ‘yes,' I lost it."

That touch-and-go situation made Echols realize he didn't want to wait any longer to ask Victoria to marry him.

"I just wanted to make it home, to actually be able to propose to her," Echols said.

Victoria was thinking the same thing. They'd talked about getting married. While he was held at gunpoint, she was praying that they would get to.

"I knew that God would protect all of them. But you still had that fear that they may not walk out of house. And that really stuck with me. I full-heartedly knew God would take care of them, no matter what happened. If he ended up taking him home, I knew he'd be OK, but thankfully they came out of the house and that was the greatest moment ever," said Victoria.

The day after the firefighters were rescued, Echols asked Victoria's parents for her hand in marriage. Ten days later, they got engaged.

"I knew I wanted to propose to her, but it all kind of made it a little more important. It made me realize that I wanted to do it that much more," Echols said.

"We had originally thought about later on next year, like in October of 2014. But were at the point -- why wait? We're not promised tomorrow," Victoria said.

Their wedding is planned for January.

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