Lawrence O’Grady helped to rescue a man from burning, St. John’s, Newfoundland, October 18, 1995. At night, a 20-year-old man lay, injured and burned, at the base of a petroleum products storage tank that had just exploded into a massive fireball. Burning intensely from its top, the 36-foot-high tank, set into a hillside above St. John’s Harbor, threatened an adjacent tank, and it was in the narrow space between the tanks that the man lay. O’Grady, 40, cook, witnessed the explosion from the harbor and, with his cousin, immediately responded to the scene. Learning that the injured man was unaccounted for, O’Grady and his cousin scaled the hillside near the tanks for a better view. They saw the man, then descended to and entered the containment area surrounding the tanks and approached him. With flames raging overhead, they grasped the man and dragged him away. Arriving firefighters assisted in taking the man farther from the tanks and to an awaiting ambulance. The man was hospitalized for treatment of his burns and other injuries, and he recovered.
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