Joshua L. Belanger helped to rescue Chad A. Turner from burning, Luzerne, Michigan, September 14, 2004. Chad, 10, and his brother were sleeping on the upper level of their family’s 1.5-story house after fire broke out there late at night and filled it with dense smoke. A neighbor had penetrated the smoke to find the boys unconscious in a cubbyhole extending the length of the house. The neighbor rescued Chad’s brother and had started to remove Chad, but he was repulsed by smoke and heat and returned downstairs. Notified of the fire, Belanger, 22, sheriff’s deputy, had responded to the scene by then, even though he was off duty. He went upstairs for Chad, but smoke and heat likewise repulsed him, and he returned to the first floor for a wet cloth. Holding the cloth to his face, Belanger went back to the second floor and crawled about in search of Chad, the smoke severely restricting visibility and inhibiting breathing. He found Chad at the entrance to the cubbyhole. Placing Chad on his back, Belanger carried him downstairs and outside to safety. Both boys were hospitalized for treatment of smoke inhalation, and Belanger sustained mild smoke inhalation. All recovered.
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