Carolyn B. Hartsock rescued Norma K. and Johnny R. Hartsock from burning, Castlewood, Virginia, June 13, 1982. While Norma, 12, and Johnny, 9, slept in a second-floor bedroom of their family’s house, fire filled the hall outside the bedroom from floor to ceiling. Awakening and discovering the fire, Carolyn, 14, schoolgirl, pushed Norma through the flames to the top of the stairs. Her night clothes aflame, Carolyn returned through the fire to the bedroom, where she wrapped Johnny, a victim of cerebral palsy, in a blanket. Carrying him, Carolyn ran through the hall flames a third time and arrived at the top of the stairs, where Norma stood, too frightened to move. Urging her to descend, Carolyn held back burning strips of wallpaper in the stairwell while Norma ran past her and exited the house. Completely covered with fire, Carolyn returned to the top of the stairs, grasped Johnny, and pushed him through the stairwell flames before starting down the stairs herself. Carolyn’s father pushed her outside, and her mother fell on her to extinguish the flames. Norma and Johnny recovered from second- and third-degree burns. Carolyn received third-degree burns over 85 percent of her body.
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