Bradlee M. McClay saved Theodore F. Staats from burning, Washington, Pennsylvania, March 1, 1997. Staats, 84, remained in his one-story house after fire broke out in the living room and spread to the bathroom. Smoke filled the house. McClay, 24, police officer, responded to the scene, where he learned that Staats was inside the burning house. McClay entered the kitchen through the back door of the house but was repulsed by the smoke, which precluded visibility. After additional attempts to penetrate the house, McClay dropped to his hands and knees and, guided by the sound of Staats’s voice, crawled through the kitchen and an adjacent hall to where he found Staats near the burning bathroom. McClay stood, grasped Staats, and was backing toward the kitchen door when he lost his sense of direction. Guided by a neighbor, who stood shouting at the door, McClay took Staats outside and to safety. Staats and McClay were given oxygen at the scene, then were taken to the hospital, where they were treated for smoke inhalation, Staats being detained overnight. They recovered.
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