Lisa Donlon was just 11 months old when her father, Ian Lucas, rescued her from their blazing home.
After an arsonist set fire to their block of flats, 23-year-old Ian fought his way through thick smoke to find his only daughter.
As the flames ripped through the Northumberland Road council-owned building, Ian wrapped a towel round his baby’s head and carried her to safety in his jacket.
Lisa Donlon and Ian Lucas were reunited on the Jeremy Kyle show
But this loving act was one of the last Ian could carry out for his daughter for nearly a quarter of a century.
That frightening 1989 night in Shepway sparked a 25-year estrangement for the pair, who didn’t meet again until this year.
Following the fire, Ian’s relationship with Lisa’s mum, Sharon Hunt, broke down.
And when Sharon and her child moved, he was left with no contact address for his beloved baby girl.
Lisa and Ian were reunited on the show
But Ian never gave up hope of seeing her again. Over the years he made several attempts to find her, including driving to Maidstone from his new home in Felixstowe, just in case he’d bump into old friends who knew of her whereabouts.
He said: “I thought about her every day and was always looking at the two photos I had. She was so tiny the last time I saw her. I was never going to give up.
At the same time, Lisa, of Oriel Way, Maidstone, was also pining for the father she’d never known.
How the Kent Messenger reported the fire
But for her own search all she had, was his name, age and a photo from a Kent Messenger article about the fire.
“I always wondered about the half of me I didn’t know, and I always thought about him at important times, like when I got married and when the children were born.
"I’ve never been angry, and I didn’t hold a grudge. I just wanted to find him,” said the 25-year-old.
Desperately, the mother-of-three, who is married to Ben, 28, contacted The Jeremy Kyle Show to see if they could help piece the puzzle together.
“I always wondered about the half of me I didn’t know, and I always thought about him at important times, like when I got married and when the children were born" - Lisa Donlon
The ITV team invited her on to the show to make an appeal for her dad to get in touch.
But little did she know, the 47-year-old had already been found by producers, and the pair shared an on-air emotional reunion.
The two now speak at least once a day, and Lisa has been welcomed into Ian’s family, which includes wife Caroline and five step-children and one step-grandchild.
They are even planning a big family holiday next year.
“Everything just seems to have slotted into place,” Lisa said. “It’s so strange how alike we are. I say things which he is thinking.”
To see their tear-jerking reunion, watch the Jeremy Kyle Show on Thursday, on ITV, at 9.25am.
Stories you might have missed