David J. Buchmeier rescued Destiny C. Martinez from burning, Cheyenne, Wyoming, April 23, 2000. Destiny, 1, was inside a one-story house when, at night, natural gas that had leaked into the basement exploded, causing the house to collapse. She fell into the basement, where fire had erupted. Having heard the explosion, neighbors, including Buchmeier, 34, heating and air conditioning technician, responded to the scene. Buchmeier climbed through and atop the debris and, by the light of a flashlight, saw Destiny in the basement, between the stairway and the flames. He climbed down through a hole in the debris and went to her, then picked her up and crawled up the stairs. He and Destiny exited the rubble to safety. Destiny sustained burns, cuts, and bruises, for which she required hospitalization.
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