Dara Veng rescued Michael A. and helped to rescue Nelson Andino from burning, Providence, Rhode Island, December 8, 2000. At night, brothers Michael, 8, and Nelson, 7, remained in the kitchen of their family’s first-floor apartment after fire broke out in the living room and spread quickly. Veng, 19, and a friend were driving through the neighborhood and discovered the fire. They stopped at the scene and ran to the rear of the three-story building, where they learned that the boys were inside. Despite blistering heat, thick smoke that impeded visibility, and advancing flames, Veng entered the apartment through its back door and saw the boys in the kitchen. He advanced to them, then dragged them toward the kitchen door, but material dripping from the ceiling burned him and forced him to flee the structure. After discarding his jacket, Veng re-entered the apartment, grabbed Michael, and removed him from the building, and Nelson was likewise removed by Veng’s friend, who also had entered the apartment. Both boys were hospitalized for treatment of smoke inhalation and extensive burns, and Veng required hospital treatment for smoke inhalation and first- and second-degree burns, to his hands and face. He recovered. Five members of a family living in the building’s third-floor apartment died in the fire.
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