Janet Helen McGowan helped to save Catherine and Thomas Koc from suffocation, Kearny, New Jersey, December 8, 1979. When fire broke out in the second-floor apartment of a three-story building, the woman occupant alerted Janet, 14, high-school student, and her family on the first floor. While her mother led the younger children out of the building, Janet ran to warn the Kocs, Catherine, 29, and Thomas, 25, on the third floor. As Janet passed the second-floor apartment, a window blew out and flames issued into the hall. Janet reached the third floor and alerted the Kocs; but they found the hall then filled with dense smoke that rapidly filled the apartment as well. All three persons went to the kitchen window and, when firemen arrived, were aided down a ladder to safety.
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