Volunteer firefighter Mark Hines says that this life with his family is a blessing, especially after he almost lost them months ago.

“We were 15 feet from a raging fire, asleep for a half hour. And so when you go there and you look at the floor, they're completely burned through. You can literally tap them and they flake apart,” said Hines.

Hines walked out of his front door with his wife and their three kids without a scratch, while the house burned down. For him, them being alive is everything.

“Houses can be rebuilt. things can be re-bought,” he said. “You cannot replace your wife and kids.”

With new motivation, Hines decided to re-start his education.

“Education is more than just a credential. it should be towards the betterment of the person's character, too,” Hines shared.

Hines is finishing his bachelor’s degree in information technology online through Western Governor’s University, after taking a three-month break.

Online education has allowed Mark to finish college at his own pace. He encourages adults to not be afraid of going back to school if they really want to finish it.

“ ‘That's what kids do out of high school’ is one, I think, myth that we tell ourselves, but also that it can't be done. I can't fit it into my schedule. Well, school can fit into your schedule when it happens [on] your time, on your terms,” said Hines.