Hector Rios, Jr., saved Jade M. Cook from burning, Rensselaer, New York, July 12, 2000. At night, Jade, 1, was in a crib in a second-floor bedroom of her family’s house after fire broke out on the first floor, in the kitchen. Awakened by Jade’s cries to dense smoke in the same bedroom, Jade’s mother opened a window, then was pulled through it to the roof of the front porch by a man who had gained access to the roof. She screamed for help. Rios, 35, carpenter’s assistant, had been sleeping in his house across the street. He responded to the scene, where he learned that Jade was still inside the burning house. Rios mounted the porch roof, then entered the smoke-filled bedroom through a window. Guided by Jade’s cries, he crawled across the room to her crib, found her inside, and removed her. Rios returned to the window with Jade and handed her outside to the others, then climbed through the window himself to safety. Meanwhile, a rescue attempt by two police officers who had entered the first floor was thwarted by the dense smoke. Arriving firefighters put a ladder to the porch roof, and Rios and the others climbed down to safety. Jade was hospitalized overnight for treatment of smoke inhalation, and she recovered. Rios sustained minor smoke inhalation but recovered later that day.
74625 – 848974625-8489