Joshua James Lapp helped to save Gloria Collins from burning, Sacramento, California, July 14, 2007. Collins, 57, was in the bedroom of her apartment on the first floor of a two-story building after fire broke out in the adjoining living room at night and filled the unit with dense smoke. A neighbor, Joshua, 16, student, was alerted to the fire. He and his mother responded to a point outside a window of Collins’s bedroom, where they heard her screaming for help. Joshua and his mother repeatedly leaned through the window for Collins, but they could not find her. Joshua then climbed through the window and made his way in the blinding smoke to where he found Collins at the other end of the room. He grasped her and retraced his steps to the window, followed by another neighbor who had attempted the rescue but was nearly overcome by smoke. He lifted Collins up to the window and handed her out to his mother, and then he climbed through the window himself. Joshua and his mother aided the other neighbor from the structure, that wing of which was engulfed by flame and destroyed. Collins, Joshua, and the other neighbor were taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, and Joshua sustained lacerations to a forearm. He recovered.
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