George W. Miller saved Patrick J. and helped to rescue Elizabeth A. Canning from burning, Lindenhurst, New York, January 29, 2004. In early morning, Canning, 41, and his sister, 42, were on the upper level of a two-story, split-entry house after fire broke out in a bedroom on that level and filled it with dense smoke. Miller, 48, boiler mechanic, was nearby, driving to work, when he came upon the burning house and learned that occupants were inside. He entered the house through the front door and began to ascend the stairs to the upper level but was repulsed by smoke and retreated to the outside. Re-entering, he made his way toward the top of the stairs, where he found Canning. Miller grasped Canning by the arm and led him outside to safety, then he re-entered the house, accompanied by a police officer who had responded. They crawled to the upper level, but deteriorating conditions forced them outside for air. Again entering to the upper level, they searched for Ms. Canning, the officer finding her in a dining area opposite the top of the stairs. Miller joined him there, and they took Ms. Canning to a back door, which they then found they could not open. After the officer broke through the door with his flashlight, he and Miller removed Ms. Canning to a deck, from which she was taken to safety. Ms. Canning required hospitalization for treatment of smoke inhalation and minor burns. Miller and the police officer also required hospital treatment for smoke inhalation. All recovered.
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