Barney F. Richter helped to rescue Saundra L. Fleming from burning, Galt, California, June 23, 1994. Ms. Fleming, 36, remained in the driver’s seat of her inverted and burning automobile after a highway accident. Local residents hearing the accident included Richter, 43, truck driver, and his stepdaughter. They immediately ran to the scene, Richter approaching the driver’s side of Ms. Fleming’s car. Although flames by then were spreading to the interior of the car, Richter reached inside through the opened driver’s door and grasped Ms. Fleming. Finding that she was restrained by her seat belt, he obtained his pocketknife, leaned into the car again, and cut the belt. When smoke and flames then forced him out of the car, his stepdaughter approached, grasped Ms. Fleming, and pulled her nearly free of the vehicle. Richter then grasped Ms. Fleming and with his stepdaughter freed her and dragged her away from the car, which was shortly engulfed by flames. Ms. Fleming required extensive hospitalization for severe burns and other injuries. Richter singed his hair and sustained minor smoke inhalation, from which he recovered.
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