Heath Martin

On June 23, 2023, 36-year-old Joshua Unglesby, who is paralyzed from the waist down, was asleep in the rear bedroom of his one-story home in Springboro, Ohio, when a fire broke out. Awakening, he called 911 and scrambled onto the floor at the back of the room as flames spread. On-duty police officer Heath Martin, 47, was nearby and responded to the call. He entered the smoke-filled house through the garage and called out for Unglesby, who was still in the back bedroom. Martin ran 25 feet down a long hallway to the bedroom and threw the door open. Thick, black smoke issued through the doorway making it difficult for Martin to breathe. He heard Unglesby but told him he could not reach him because of the smoke. Martin retreated and ran to the home’s front door, which he opened for responding firefighters. He then returned to the bedroom, went to his knees and crawled inside. Surrounded by flames, he found Unglesby in the back corner of the room and picked him up in a bear hug. As he attempted to exit carrying Unglesby, he tripped and the two fell. Martin then held Unglesby under his arms and dragged him to the front door. Unglesby suffered second-degree burns and continues to recover. Martin suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation but recovered.