Bryan E. Kratochvil saved Christopher Smillie from burning, Lincoln, Nebraska, October 6, 1988. Christopher, 5, was in his family’s apartment with his mother and two younger brothers when fire broke out in the living room. Driving in the neighborhood, Kratochvil, 24, an off-duty, university police officer, saw smoke issuing from the apartment. He stopped at the scene and, after learning that the apartment was occupied, immediately entered it. He crawled through thick smoke to the end of the foyer, where he searched for the children before he was forced out by the smoke. Catching his breath, Kratochvil re-entered the apartment, penetrating it farther, and located Christopher, who lay on the floor, unconscious. He carried Christopher outside, where others revived him. Kratochvil collapsed and was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for smoke inhalation; he recovered. Christopher’s mother and one of his brothers were rescued by firemen, but the other brother could not be revived.
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