Daniel Lara, Jr., helped to rescue Margaret M. and helped attempt to rescue Wilber E. Proud from burning, Brea, California, April 8, 2000. Mrs. Proud, 89, and her husband, 95, were in their one-story house after fire broke out in their bedroom before dawn. Lara, 48, software engineer, in bed in his home across the street, was alerted and, clad in only night clothes, immediately ran to the scene, joining his son who had already responded. His son kicked in the locked front door, and Lara and his son entered the burning house, despite intense heat inside and dense smoke that restricted visibility. After they crawled a short distance into the living room, Lara’s son returned home for a wet towel, which Lara and his son then used to aid their breathing. Crawling farther, Lara found Mrs. Proud lying on the floor in the doorway leading from the living room to a hall and the burning bedroom. With flames advancing from the bedroom, he secured a hold of her then inched his way back to the front door, pulling her. After Mrs. Proud was removed from the house, Lara and his son returned inside for Proud, Lara farther penetrating the living room as his son crawled to the bathroom, but they did not find him. In deteriorating conditions, they left the house as firefighters were arriving. Firefighters found Proud in the opposite end of the house. He and Mrs. Proud were hospitalized for treatment of smoke inhalation; Mrs. Proud recovered, but Proud died of complications 10 days later. Lara experienced minor smoke inhalation and sustained cuts to his feet. He recovered.
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