David Moore Niskanen helped to rescue Lee de Mets from burning, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, September 29, 1981. De Mets, 40, was the pilot of an airplane that crashed after failing to take off. Flames erupted from a severed fuel tank and quickly spread to the fuselage, in which de Mets was pinned. Niskanen, 38, auto body repairman, ran to the plane, and despite flames on the plane that increased to 15 feet in height, assisted a co-worker in freeing de Mets. They were joined by a third co-worker who helped them pull de Mets from the plane and carry him to safety. De Mets recovered from burns and two broken ankles.
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