David H. Neighbors saved Makayla I. Klingler from burning, Olney, Illinois, January 22, 2001. Makayla, 2, was in a bed in the master bedroom of a mobile home after fire broke out in the living room. Flames spread quickly and filled the mobile home with dense smoke, preventing a woman who had fled the structure to return for Makayla. Driving nearby, Neighbors, 32, maintenance man, saw the burning mobile home and stopped at the scene, where the woman told him that Makayla was in the bedroom. Neighbors climbed through a window in the bedroom, dropped to his hands and knees, and in the dense smoke crawled along the perimeter of the room until he found Makayla, who was gasping for breath. Neighbors picked Makayla up, then stood and took her to the window, where he handed her out to the woman. Neighbors then exited the mobile home himself by climbing through the window. Makayla, who had stopped breathing, was revived at the scene, then was taken to the hospital, where she was detained two weeks for treatment of severe smoke inhalation. She recovered. Neighbors also received hospital treatment, for mild smoke inhalation and a laceration to his right hand that required sutures, and he too recovered.
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