Joshua A. Bumgarner helped to rescue Mamie T. Gumbs from burning, Forest City, North Carolina, March 19, 2009. In the middle of the night, Gumbs, 80, was in her bedroom after fire erupted in the adjoining living room and grew significantly. The police officer who discovered the fire heard Gumbs yelling for help and gained access to the residence through a door that opened to a hall leading to her bedroom. Another responding police officer, Bumgarner, 23, entered the structure after the first officer was forced out by dense smoke and intense heat. Bumgarner was also repulsed by the intolerable conditions. The first officer re-entered the structure, ran into Gumbs’s bedroom, and pulled her to the bedroom doorway before having to retreat again. Bumgarner then re-entered, proceeded through the hall to the bedroom, which was aflame, and pulled Gumbs closer to the door before being forced out. He and the first officer entered the structure a third time and pulled Gumbs outside to safety. Gumbs required hospitalization for treatment of severe burns.
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