Amanda Harris accidentally locked her keys in the car outside of Zebulon's Sunset Slush, after she'd strapped her daughter Abigail into her car seat.
Panicked, the mom asked an employee to call 911. Within a few minutes, firefighters with the Zebulon Fire Dept. were pulling into the parking lot.
Using a special tool to pry open the door, they were able to get a sweaty and thirsty but otherwise OK Abigail out within seconds.
"Inside that vehicle, you're looking over 100, 120 degrees or higher," said Capt. Taylor Andrews. "Just think if your child's in that car, you'd want to get them out as quick as you can."
Harris, later posting her gratitude to Facebook, thanking the first responders for going above and beyond, giving Abigail a stuffed unicorn at the scene to comfort her.
"I don't think I said thank you in person," Harris said Monday as she and Abigail stood outside the fire station with the men who helped her. "I guess it was the shock of this whole situation and kind of being a little embarrassed."
Harris said she hopes her story of a tragedy averted will serve as a reminder to all parents this summer.
"Sometimes we get mommy brain," she said. It happens. Just be aware of your surroundings."