Clifford A. Chaffee rescued Michael J. Earles from burning, Long Beach, California, May 23, 1986. Michael, 4, stood in the smoke-filled hall of his family’s one-story house after flames had broken out in a nearby bedroom. A neighbor, Chaffee, 70, chief petty officer, U.S. Navy, retired, was alerted; he opened the front door of the house and was met by hot, black smoke. Dropping to his hands and knees, Chaffee crawled 20 feet in the hall, in which there was no visibility, and bumped into Michael. He pulled Michael to the floor, then crawled back to the door and outside with him. Michael recovered from second- and third-degree burns.
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