Henry Balangue, Jr., rescued John P. Oldridge from burning, Porterville, California, August 4, 2002. Oldridge, 66, was inside the 36-foot-long trailer in which he lived, after fire erupted in the trailer’s bedroom. Balangue, 39, landscaper, was driving by when he saw smoke rising from the scene. He stopped there and learned that Oldridge remained inside the burning trailer. After forcing open one of its doors, Balangue entered the trailer, in which dense smoke precluded any visibility except at floor level. He heard Oldridge and moved toward the sound of his voice. Balangue entered the bedroom, most of which was aflame, and found Oldridge on the floor. He dragged Oldridge toward the door, but once in the living room, Oldridge became caught. Balangue fled the trailer for air, then re-entered, freed Oldridge, and pulled him outside. Oldridge was taken to the hospital for treatment of severe burns, and he succumbed to his injuries the next day. Balangue also required hospital treatment, for a burn to his shoulder, and he recovered.
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