Kurt Seebacher rescued Betty M. Stoll from burning, Hartville, Ohio, January 11, 1999. At night, Ms. Stoll, 82, was asleep in a first-floor bedroom of her two-story frame house when she was awakened to a fire that was spreading through the adjacent living room. She retreated to a small sewing room near the front door, where she telephoned her son-in-law, Seebacher, 56, restauranteur, who lived next door. Seebacher arrived to find that flames had spread throughout most of the first floor and were burning on the outside walls and the roof of the house. After determining Ms. Stoll’s location, Seebacher entered the house through its front door, then crawled into the sewing room. Rather than retrace his path toward the advancing flames, Seebacher led Ms. Stoll into the adjoining garage. He attempted to open the automatic garage door, but electricity to the house was out by then. In the darkness, Seebacher found the door’s manual release and opened the door. He and Ms. Stoll then fled the house, shortly before flames destroyed most of it. Ms. Stoll sustained minor burns to her face and was hospitalized three days for treatment of smoke inhalation. Seebacher also required hospital treatment, for smoke inhalation and a second-degree burn to his right knee. They recovered.
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