Jeffrey Alyn Rushing rescued Ralph W. Guenther from burning, Centralia, Illinois, March 22, 1998. Guenther, 47, was in his family’s two-story home after fire broke out at night in the adjoining carport and spread to the kitchen. Rushing, 27, factory worker, saw the burning house while driving by. He stopped at the scene and learned that Guenther was still inside. Rushing approached the front door, partially entered the smoke-filled living room, and called out to Guenther but had to withdraw for air. He then broke out a first-floor window and shouted to Guenther again, that time hearing Guenther moan. Rushing returned to the front door and, on his stomach, entered the house and began to crawl through the living room. Heat in the house was intense, and smoke precluded visibility. Touching Guenther at a point about 12 feet from the door, Rushing grasped him by the arms and crawled back to the door, dragging him. He then removed Guenther outside to safety. Guenther and Rushing sustained minor burns, from which they recovered.
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