Dwayne E. Hofus saved Jessica Maxwell and Heather McGee from burning, Youngstown, Ohio, June 10, 1989. Jessica, 2, and Heather, 3, were on the second floor of their family’s two-story house when, just before dawn, fire erupted on the first floor, in the kitchen. A neighbor, Hofus, 24, cook, saw flames through a kitchen window and ran to the house to alert its occupants. He forced open the front door and went to the second floor, where he found one of the girls. He picked her up and ran back outside with her. Unaware that another girl was still in the house, Hofus left to call the fire department. Returning to the scene, he learned of the other girl. Despite dense smoke, heat, and spreading flames, Hofus re-entered the house, went to the second floor, and, feeling along a wall, located the bedroom from which he heard a child crying. Hofus entered the bedroom, which was above the burning kitchen, grasped the girl, and began to carry her downstairs. En route, he fell part way down the stairs but regained his footing and returned safely outside with the second girl. Jessica and Heather were taken to the hospital for treatment, as was Hofus, who had inhaled smoke. He recovered fully.
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