Christine Alicia Wilson saved Marianna S., Annaleigh G., and Maddox N. Fontanez from burning, Henrietta, New York, November 23, 2013. Siblings Marianna, 6; Annaleigh, 6 months; and Maddox, 2, were passengers in a minivan driven by their mother when it caught fire at its front end in a highway accident. Wilson, 42, an off-duty police officer from another municipality, was nearby and witnessed the accident. She ran to the van and, seeing the children inside, opened the sliding door on its driver’s side and entered. Wilson stepped to the back row of seats in the vehicle, which was filling with smoke, and unbuckled Marianna’s safety belt. After exiting the van with Marianna, Wilson re-entered and moved across the middle row of seats to Annaleigh. Attempting without success to release Annaleigh’s car seat, Wilson pulled it free and carried it, with Annaleigh, outside the vehicle to safety. Re-entering the van a second time, despite intensifying smoke and spreading flames, Wilson moved again to the back row and worked to free Maddox’s car seat. In the deteriorating conditions, she grasped Maddox, pulled him from the seat, and left the vehicle with him, flames by then having entered the van, at its front. The van was quickly engulfed by flames. Wilson was observed at the hospital but was not significantly injured, nor were the children.
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