Harold E. La Plante, 43, bartender, saved John J., Craig, and Ricky Romero, 4, 2, and 3, respectively, from suffocation, Toledo, Ohio, April 3, 1959. When fire broke out on the ground floor of a two-story frame dwelling in early morning, John, Craig, and Ricky were wakened by their mother, who then climbed through a bedroom window onto the porch roof with a younger child as dense smoke began to fill the second-floor rooms. The mother called for help from neighbors who had been attracted, telling them that three of her children still were inside. La Plante, who was barefooted, broke the glass of the locked front door with his fist, severely cutting his wrist. Disregarding the bleeding, he opened the door by reaching inside but was driven back by the intense heat. He then climbed onto the porch roof and entered the dwelling through the bedroom window. Crouching beneath the dense smoke, he moved eight feet into the room and found one of the boys. He carried him to the window, climbed through it onto the roof, and lowered him to a man on the ground 11 feet below. La Plante then re-entered the dwelling and, as the smoke became worse, got to his hands and knees on the floor, which was warm. He crawled into the adjoining bedroom, found another boy, and took him back to the window. As he climbed onto the roof, La Plante experienced dizziness from loss of blood. He lay on the roof briefly before lowering the second boy. Despite warnings that the floor might fall in, La Plante entered the dwelling a third time. Crouching and then crawling, he made his way through three rooms and into a fourth, where he found the other boy. Groping in the dense smoke which then afforded no visibility, La Plante took him to the open window and handed him to another man, who had obtained a ladder and climbed onto the roof. Firemen arrived as La Plante left the dwelling. They extinguished the flames, which gutted the first floor. La Plante was required to receive treatment at a hospital for his severe cuts, and the boys recovered from effects of the smoke.
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