Francis J. Gutierrez helped to rescue Keith T. Ulich from burning, Middletown, Rhode Island, July 3, 2008. Ulich, 38, and two others were aboard a light aircraft that crashed into trees just beyond an airport runway. It landed upright and broke into flames, which spread into the cockpit. Residents of a nearby neighborhood, including Gutierrez, 51, marine electronics technician, heard the crash and responded to the scene. Despite intense heat and growing flames, Gutierrez approached the airplane, joining another neighborhood resident who had pulled Ulich partway through the cockpit doorway onto the wing. The two men grasped Ulich and pulled him the remaining distance out of the airplane and to the ground. They then removed their shirts to extinguish flames on him. Ulich was severely burned and died 10 weeks later. The two other occupants of the airplane died at the scene.
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