Lamont Maxwell rescued Mary Wade from burning, Akron, Ohio, February 22, 2000. At night, Ms. Wade, 73, was unconscious in the living room of her two-story house after a fire started in the basement and spread to the first floor. At his home next door, Maxwell, 33, delivery driver, was alerted to the fire. He ran to Ms. Wade’s front door and stepped into the house but could not see because of the dense smoke. He exited and returned to his house for a chair, which he then used to break out windows in the living room of the burning house to release some of the smoke. Maxwell went back to the front door, crawled into the living room, and called out to Ms. Wade. Nearly overcome by heat and smoke, he turned and left the house again. Obtaining a wet towel that he wrapped around his head, he returned to the house and re-entered, crawling, as he felt in front of him while calling out Ms. Wade’s name. Maxwell found Ms. Wade on the floor about 10 feet from the door and about that distance from advancing flames in the kitchen. He stood and dragged her toward the front door, then was aided by a neighbor in removing Ms. Wade outside. Ms. Wade required hospitalization for treatment of smoke inhalation and burns. Maxwell suffered slight smoke inhalation but did not require treatment. He recovered.
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