George O. Rousseau, Jr., 17, schoolboy, saved Gene A. Menard, 4, from suffocation, Franklin, New Hampshire, October 15, 1957. Fire broke out in the clothes closet of a second-floor bedroom in which Gene and this three-year-old sister were playing. Gene’s mother was attracted but was unable to extinguish the flames, which had spread to the walls and ceiling. She fled from the dwelling with her daughter; Gene ran into the adjoining bedroom and closed the door. The mother summoned several men working nearby, but they were unable to reach the second floor because of the intense heat and dense smoke. From outside the dwelling, one of the men broke the glass in a window of the bedroom where the fire started, and smoke and flames issued from the opening. Rousseau was attracted and, learning that Gene was trapped upstairs, entered the dwelling. Crouching, he ascended the stairway through the dense smoke and reached the second-floor hall, where he passed flames issuing from the bedroom doorway. Deciding that Gene might be in the adjoining room, Rousseau kicked open the door and found dense smoke in the room. Heat was intense as he stepped into the room and located Gene by peering into the less dense smoke near the floor. Rousseau carried Gene to the hall and, avoiding the flames issuing from the door of the other bedroom and the ceiling above it, ran to the stairway. He carried Gene down the stairs and thence from the dwelling. Firemen then arrived and in 20 minutes extinguished the flames, which caused extensive damage. Gene suffered from smoke inhalation, and Rousseau’s face was flushed from the heat. They recovered.
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