Courtesy of Harlingen Fire Department. Bree Rios with her dad, Victor Rios

When Bree Rios was growing up in Harlingen, Texas, her father, a firefighter, would never let her use the stove because he was afraid she might burn the house down.
Today, Bree, now 25, doesn’t set fires — she puts them out, working alongside her dad as the first female firefighter in the Harlingen Fire Department‘s 105-year history.
Hired in April and now a rookie in training, the milestone is a fulfillment of a lifelong dream for Bree, who has wanted to follow her dad’s example since she was 4.
“It was always what I wanted to do — nothing else even came close,” she tells PEOPLE. “For years, I dressed up as a firefighter every Halloween, so it’s really kind of cool that I actually get to wear a uniform now and have it mean something.”
And dad couldn’t be more proud.
“When she was a little girl, she would visit me whenever …
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