Eric Jacob Ratke rescued Jayson G. Murray from burning, Burien, Washington, September 8, 1992. Jayson, 2, was in a bedroom of his family’s first-floor apartment when fire broke out in that room and filled it with dense smoke. Seeing smoke, Ratke, 23, manager of a nearby automobile shop, responded to the scene, where he heard Jayson cry out. Ratke immediately entered the apartment and went to Jayson’s room, the door to which was closed. Since the doorknob was too hot to grasp, Ratke kicked the door open, then dropped to his hands and knees and entered the smoke-filled and burning room. His search for Jayson took him across the width of the room to where he found Jayson between a bed and the far wall. With flames and smoke spreading quickly, Ratke seized Jayson, then stood and fled the apartment. Jayson required extensive hospitalization for severe burns.
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