Jeffery Allen Connell helped to rescue Aron E. Wallace from burning, Vandercook Lake, Michigan, June 29, 2007. Wallace, 84, was in his one-story house after an electrical fire broke out in the living room at night. Connell, 33, diesel mechanic, was driving in the vicinity when he saw flames issuing through a window of the house’s living room. He stopped at the scene and reported the fire, learning that Wallace was still inside the structure. After briefly seeing Wallace walk through the living room, Connell forced open the front door. He entered the structure and, with a water hose, fought flames that were near the door. Going to the floor in the intense heat and dense smoke, which hampered his vision and breathing, Connell maneuvered toward the sound of Wallace’s voice, using a wall of the living room to guide him. He found Wallace in the adjacent kitchen, where he was sitting on the floor, semiconscious and badly burned. Grasping Wallace by the hands, Connell struggled to drag him to the front door. He was joined by a responding deputy sheriff, who helped in getting Wallace to the door, where others helped take him to safety. Wallace was taken to the hospital and died the next day. Connell also required hospital treatment, for smoke inhalation. He recovered.
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