Fred A. Thomas, Jr., rescued Christopher J. Toole from burning, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, October 26, 1987. Christopher, 3, was inside his family’s apartment when leaking natural gas ignited in the kitchen. Flames spread to a wall and the ceiling. A resident of the same building, Fred, 16, high school student, was alerted; he entered the apartment through the kitchen and led Christopher’s mother and two brothers outside. There, he learned that Christopher was still in the apartment. Fred re-entered through the burning kitchen, went upstairs, and searched for Christopher, finding him in a bedroom. By then, dense smoke had filled the apartment, and visibility was severely limited. Fred took Christopher downstairs and outside to safety. Christopher required two months’ hospitalization for second- and third- degree burns to 30 percent of his body. Fred suffered smoke inhalation, and he recovered.
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