Allen D. Fortney helped to rescue Robert J. and Rachel M. Halbritter from burning, Morgantown, West Virginia, November 7, 2000. Twins Robert and Rachel, 9, were in their family’s home when a massive explosion of leaking natural gas reduced the one-story house to a pile of rubble. Debris trapped the children in the basement as flames were spreading nearby. Fortney, 41, mechanic, heard the explosion while at his place of employment in the neighborhood. He and others immediately responded to the scene, where he learned that the children were trapped in the debris. Fortney and other men mounted the pile of rubble and pulled pieces of debris from it to locate Robert and Rachel. They created a hole in the debris allowing access to the basement. The children were removed through the hole, then they, Fortney, and the other men fled from the debris, which was covered by 30-foot flames within a minute. Robert and Rachel were hospitalized for treatment of burns and cuts, and they recovered.
75005 – 853275005-8532