Derek Robert Vitale saved Kendra S. Dumont from burning, Farmington, New Hampshire, August 26, 2001. Kendra, 4 months old, was in her parents’ apartment, on the second floor of a three-story house, after fire broke out in that unit’s bathroom at night. Vitale, 27, construction worker, and a friend discovered the fire while driving by the house. They stopped at the scene, where Vitale learned that Kendra and her parents were unaccounted for. Vitale entered the house and went upstairs to the second floor. Another man opened the apartment’s door, and dense smoke poured through the doorway. Vitale got down on his stomach and crawled inside the apartment. Visibility there was nil. Kendra was lying on the floor, unconscious. Vitale felt her leg, then grasped her, pulled her to him, and returned to the door. He stood and, carrying Kendra, went downstairs and exited the building to safety. Kendra was hospitalized for treatment of smoke inhalation. Her parents died in the fire. Vitale inhaled smoke and was given oxygen at the scene by paramedics. He recovered.
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