Gregory Plageman, Jr., saved Pearl Steinberg from burning, Pembroke Pines, Florida, June 24, 1999. Ms. Steinberg, 85, remained in the driver’s seat of her car after the car knocked over a gasoline pump at a service station. Flames broke out immediately at the downed pump and quickly grew to engulf the back and sides of the car, and flames entered the rear of the vehicle through a broken-out window. After an unsuccessful attempt to put the fire out with an extinguisher, an employee of the station, Plageman, 26, automobile mechanic, forced opened the car’s driver’s door, partially entered the car, and released Ms. Steinberg’s safety belt. He then grasped Ms. Steinberg and pulled her out of the car, then led her to safety. Within minutes, the flames, which had grown to reach an 18-foot-high canopy over the pumps, consumed the vehicle. Plageman sustained a minor cut on his leg, from which he recovered.
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