10 years later, boy abandoned at fire station meets firefighter who found him




Posted on November 15, 2012 at 11:49 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 16 at 12:08 AM

ARLINGTON -- Firefighter Wes Keck has told the story thousands of times; Where he was, what he saw, what he thought.

But he was nervous telling it Thursday night. There were dozens of cameras and reporters watching and listening, waiting on the arrival of the night's other star.

And as Koregan Quintanilla walked in the room, his mother, Rebecca, began to choke up. Wes made his way through the sea of cameras, and all three melted into a giant group hug.

"Hey! It's nice to meet you, finally," Keck said.

Koregan was abandoned at Arlington Fire Station Number 12 early in the morning on November 9, 2002. Wes was the first one awake and spotted the baby carrier right outside the kitchen window. Inside was a healthy baby boy. Wes still has a photo from that day, in a box on his desk.

The baby was whisked away, then put into protective custody. Years passed, and Wes knew the baby had been adopted, but nothing more.

Koregan had been adopted by the Quintanilla family in Watauga. He has five sisters and is in the fourth grade.

A few weeks ago, his teacher asked him what he would put on his bucket list.

"He said he wanted to go to his fire station," said his oldest sister, 22-year-old Staci. "We were like, 'What? What about Disneyland?!'"

His mother called the Arlington Fire Department and Thursday night a dream came true for both Koregan and Keck.

"I am so glad you are here," Keck told Koregan, as the two sat inside a firetruck. "I've thought about you a million times through the years."

Koregan got a ride around the block and even got to spray a hose. He said he's wanted to be a firefighter since he was six years old.

His sisters waved and cried watching their brother.

"It's exciting to me that he gets to meet his firefighter, the man who saved him. And I'm thankful he's still alive today," said a tearful Sistine Quintanilla, Koregan's 11-year-old sister.

Koregan is aware of his past, but said it doesn't make him special.

"I am glad I got to be here and glad I got to meet everybody," he said. "Because this is my fire station that I was abandoned at."

He began to cry and buried his head in his father's chest. But later, he told Keck it was the best night of his life.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com