Darryl T. Smith saved Jose W. Flores and Jacqueline DeVargas from burning, Carteret, New Jersey, March 2, 1996. Jose, 14, and his half sister Jacqueline, 10, were asleep in a second-floor bedroom of their family’s townhouse apartment when fire broke out at night in the living room, on the first floor. Smith, 35, machine operator, who lived next door, was alerted to the fire and informed that the children were still inside. He immediately entered the townhouse, the living room of which was filling with flame, and went to the second floor. Smith entered the children’s bedroom and, waking Jose and picking up Jacqueline, went downstairs with them and exited the townhouse to safety. Fearing that others remained inside, Smith re-entered the unit and returned to the second floor, where he searched the two remaining bedrooms. Finding no one, he attempted to flee, but deteriorating conditions on the first floor blocked his course, forcing him back upstairs. Smith retreated to the bathroom and escaped through a window to the roof of the neighboring unit’s porch, from which he was aided to the ground by arriving police. Jose was given oxygen at the scene for having inhaled smoke, and he recovered.
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