A story from Fiona Hill’s childhood is going viral as the former National Security Council senior director for Europe and Russia testifies on Capitol Hill as part of the House Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE.

The story being shared by her supporters details an account from her childhood that her friends revealed to The New York Times in an article published on Thursday about her upbringing and the journey that led to her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.

Her friends told the newspaper that a male classmate set her pigtail on fire when she was 11 years old and taking a test. Her friends said that Hill, now 51, extinguished the flame using just her hands before continuing her exam. 


Her friends added that Hill came from humble beginnings in England and was a tough kid before going on to receive a doctoral degree from Harvard University and taking a job with the Trump administration’s National Security Council.

The account from her childhood has been shared repeatedly online as the former official testifies before Congress.

Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsFemale impeachment managers say American public know a 'rigged' trial when they see one White House says Trump wasn't boasting about withholding material from Congress White House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team MORE (D-Fla.) shared a post from New York Times correspondent Sheryl Gay Stolberg, writing: “Today, our democracy is on fire and Dr. Fiona Hill is once again helping put it out with her bare hands. #DefendOurDemocracy.”

“I mean....this woman,” former Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillCalifornia Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat Cenk Uygur updates on Congressional campaign, how I will call out corporate politicians in Washington GOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts MORE (D-Calif.) wrote in one tweet, while adding in another post: “I want to be Fiona Hill when I grow up.”

A number of other social media users also took to Twitter to support the former official by sharing the story.

The viral moment also came up during Hill’s testimony later on Thursday after Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierSenator-jurors who may not be impartial? Remove them for cause Poll: 69 percent of Americans say they are watching impeachment closely The Hill's Morning Report — Impeachment face-off; Dems go after Buttigieg in debate MORE (D-Calif.) asked her if the story from her childhood was true.


“Dr. Hill, I want to verify this story. I understand that when you were 11 years old, there was a schoolboy who set your pigtails on fire. And you were taking a test, you turned around, and with your hands, snuffed out the fire and then proceeded to finish your test,” Speier states. “Is that a true story?”

“It is a true story,” Hill confirmed. “I was a bit surprised to see that pop up today. It's one of the stories I occasionally tell because it had some very unfortunate consequences and afterwards my mother gave me a bowl haircut.”

“So, for the school photograph later in that week, I looked like Richard III or as if I’m going to be in a permanent play,” Hill said, gesturing to her hair amid laughs from the audience. 

Speier said she thinks the story “underscores the fact that” Hill is truthful, adding: “I truly respect that.”