Henry Allen Wood, Jr., 40, police detective, rescued Richard J. Merriman, Jr., 6, and Carolyn S. Merriman, 29, from burning, Tampa, Florida, March 14, 1969. At night a two-door sedan in which Richard and his mother were passengers in the front seat struck a concrete utility pole. Richard, Mrs. Merriman, and the woman driver were injured, the two women losing consciousness. Wood ran to the passenger side of the automobile, on which fire had broken out at the ruptured fuel tank at its front end. He opened the door and saw Richard under the instrument panel in contact with flames which had spread to the interior. Wood reached into the automobile, removed Richard, and carried him a safe distance away. Returning to the open door, Wood leaned into the automobile to his waist. The flames inside had increased, and Mrs. Merriman’s slacks had caught fire. Wood tried to pull her out of the sedan, but her foot was caught. Extending his body farther into the automobile, Wood freed Mrs. Merriman’s foot. He then removed her and carried her away as a police patrolman drew the woman driver from the opposite side of the sedan. Wood returned to the automobile to make sure there was no one else inside. He and the patrolman, who was carrying the woman driver, were moving away from the vehicle when the fuel tank erupted and spread flames throughout the interior. Richard and Mrs. Merriman were hospitalized for burns and injuries. They recovered.
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