James A. Backus, 14, schoolboy, saved Michael J. Campanale, 4, and Tammy, 3, and Lori Tormaschy, 5, from burning, Akron, Ohio, September 15, 1966. Michael, Tammy, and Lori were in the rear seat of a station wagon in a parking lot, while a six-year-old boy was in the front seat. The windows were closed, and the doors were locked. The children began playing with matches, and fire broke out on the cushion of the front seat. James noticed smoke in the station wagon and ran to its right side. Finding the doors locked, he broke a hole in the window of the rear seat section with a piece of concrete. He reached through the hole and released the lock. The door opened suddenly, and James fell to the ground but quickly got to his feet. Flames a foot high burned on the right end of the front seat and were climbing the backrest. The other boy escaped through the left front door, which closed behind him. James lifted Michael out of the station wagon. He reached into the vehicle and took hold of Tammy, who bit his hand. With his arm a foot from the flames on the front seat backrest, James removed Tammy. He quickly beat out flames on her dress, which had caught fire as he drew her past the burning seat. He reached farther into the station wagon, took hold of Lori, and pulled her from the vehicle. The other boy ran to him, and James beat out flames on the boy’s trousers. By the time firemen arrived the fire had spread to the cargo area, and a can of charcoal lighter fuel there exploded before the flames were extinguished.
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