Charles Wertheimer, Jr., rescued Michele and attempted to rescue Matthew J. Lightner from burning, Indiana, Pennsylvania, May 9, 1977. Michele, 5, and Matthew, 2, were in the rear seat of a two-door sedan when fire broke out and smoke filled the interior. Wertheimer, 40, salvage yard operator, ran to the automobile and removed Michele but was unable to see Matthew, who could be heard crying. Wertheimer twice crawled onto the front seat and probed the rear compartment, each time being forced out by the intense heat. On his third try for Matthew, Wertheimer’s clothing caught fire. He withdrew and removed the burning garments but then was restrained from re-entering the burning automobile. Firemen found the body of Matthew in the rear compartment. Michele had only been singed. Wertheimer required hospitalization for extensive burns he had sustained.
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