Bryce Stetler saved Savanah B. Swartz from burning, New Hope, Wisconsin, September 20, 2004. Following a highway accident involving a pickup truck and the sport utility vehicle in which she was the passenger, Savanah, 1, remained strapped in her car seat, which was secured to the back seat of the vehicle. Flames broke out at the front end of that vehicle and grew rapidly, entering the front of the passenger compartment. A motorist, Stetler, 26, lawncare specialist, witnessed the accident. He approached the passenger side of the sport utility vehicle and, hearing Savanah cry, opened the rear door. Despite intense heat about the vehicle and flames and smoke inside, Stetler extended his upper body into the vehicle, placing one knee on the floor. He worked unsuccessfully to release Savanah from her seat, then he pulled the seat free and removed it, with Savanah, outside to safety. After carrying her away, Stetler returned to the vehicles to aid in the rescue of others inside them. Savanah’s grandmother, who was driving the sport utility vehicle, died in the accident, as did a passenger in the pickup. Two others in the pickup survived. Savanah was hospitalized overnight for treatment of minor injury. She recovered.
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