Orange County firefighter and fire dancer shares his story during AAPI Heritage Month

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orange County firefighter Micah Naruo has quite a part-time job. When not fighting fires, he is fire spinning for Disney’s Lion King show at Animal Kingdom.

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Naruo’s family is from Japan but he grew up in Hawaii, where instead of sports, Naruo spent his free time training as a fire and knife dancer.

Naruo said, “I went to practice once a week on Saturdays. And just like soccer, you know, I went to fire and knife practice for about two and a half hours. And I just couldn’t put that fire and knife down. And it just became from a hobby to a profession.”

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Naruo traveled as a fire dancer with Cirque Du Soleil and settled in Central Florida, starting work at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Polynesian Resort.

While Naruo loved his hobby, turned profession, he was looking for a full-time career. He contemplated moving back to Hawaii but other performers convinced him to stay in Central Florida.

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Naruo picked the profession that seemed the perfect fit for his passion and enrolled in the Orange County fire program.

“It’s pretty exciting to always have to switch gears. If it’s a fire, if it’s a medical if it’s a cat in the tree or ducks in the sewer.” Naruo says.

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