Jeffrey F. Gau saved Antoinette M. Cecere from burning, Flushing, New York, October 11, 1995. Ms. Cecere, 62, was in a second-floor apartment of a two-story house when fire broke out on the first floor and filled the house with smoke. Working in the area, Gau, 34, field technician, responded to the scene when he saw smoke issuing from the house. Learning that Ms. Cecere was on the second floor, he entered the foyer and partially ascended the stairs but was forced to exit the house because of the smoke. Gau obtained a rag and, placing it over his face, re-entered the house. Establishing verbal contact with Ms. Cecere, he climbed the stairs again. Feeling Ms. Cecere’s hand, he grasped her by the arm, then took her downstairs and outside to safety. Both Gau and Ms. Cecere received hospital treatment for having inhaled smoke, and they recovered.
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