John E. Conner helped to rescue Nicole C. Miller from burning, Columbus, New Jersey, September 26, 1987. Following a highway accident, Nicole, 17, was unconscious inside her burning car. Conner, 45, an off-duty police officer, heard the crash and ran to the scene. Despite flames virtually filling the inside of the car and intense heat, Conner reached through the open driver’s window twice and attempted to pull Nicole out. On his third try, he received help and was successful in removing Nicole, who was then carried to safety. Moments later the car was engulfed by flame. Nicole required hospitalization for smoke inhalation and first- and second-degree burns to her legs. She recovered. Conner sustained lesser burns to his face and right arm, and he too recovered.
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