Albert Costantini helped to save Andrew J. Reilly from burning, Southampton, Pennsylvania, December 23, 2012. Reilly, 71, was in the family room of his split-level house after a fire broke out in that room. Neighbors discovered and reported the fire, heard Reilly moan, and removed a window to access the ground-level room, but they were not successful in finding him. Alerted to the fire, Costantini, 59, a police officer on duty in the vicinity, responded to the scene. Learning that Reilly was still inside the house, he entered the family room through the window. Despite intense heat, dense smoke that severely restricted visibility and hampered his breathing, and growing flames along one wall of the room, Costantini crawled forward to search for Reilly, not knowing his location. He found Reilly on the floor near the far wall. Grasping Reilly’s waistband, Costantini began to drag Reilly toward the window, but about halfway there he became disoriented. Another officer entered the house through the window about then and, calling out to Costantini, located him in the dense smoke. Together the officers dragged Reilly to the window and lifted him through it to others. As Costantini and the other officer were exiting the house, a flashover occurred in the room, exacerbating conditions and sending flames through the window. Costantini and the other officer escaped to safety. Reilly required hospitalization for injuries sustained in the fire, and Costantini and the other officer were checked at the scene for minor burns. They recovered.
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