Leon M. Altum saved Kenneth E. and Cecil E. Pyant and Linda M. Barlow from burning, Dunedin, Florida, June 20, 1962. At night fire broke out in the front bedroom of a one-story dwelling where Kenneth, 1, his sister, and his mother were asleep. The flames spread to the bed clothing and the draperies at one of the windows. Leon, 15, schoolboy, who with his disabled father was staying at a nearby motel, saw flames issuing three feet through the open window. Clad only in pajama trousers, he ran to the front door of the dwelling and found it locked. He then ran to the other window of the bedroom and tore off the screen. Despite his father’s warning, Leon climbed into the room, where smoke was dense and acrid and heat was noticeable. Probing the bed, Leon located Kenneth and lifted him through the window to the outside. He then placed one knee on the bed and, extending himself to within inches of the flames, shook Kenneth’s mother and sister. Shouting for them to get out, Leon inhaled some smoke, which caused him to choke violently. He began to feel dizzy and moved to the window for air. The mother and daughter leaped over the flames on the bed and ran into the living room. Leon climbed out through the window as the mother and daughter emerged by way of the front door. The mother urged Leon to save Kenneth’s two other sisters, his brother Cecil, 4, and their cousin Linda, 11, from the rear bedroom. Although his father again warned him, Leon entered the living room as the motel manager arrived with a flashlight. He followed Leon, who ran through the accumulating smoke and opened the door of the rear bedroom. Moving to alongside the bed, Leon shook the three girls but failed to notice Cecil, who was at the foot. With Leon holding Linda while the manager carried one sister and led the other, they left the dwelling. Learning from the mother that Cecil still was in the bedroom, Leon again entered the dwelling, followed by the manager. By then the front bedroom was filled with flames. Leon ran into the rear bedroom, in which smoke extended five feet below the ceiling, and lifted Cecil from the bed. Coughing from smoke he was forced to inhale, Leon ran into the living room and saw Kenneth, who had reentered the dwelling. Carrying Cecil and pulling Kenneth by the arm, Leon continued outside, accompanied by the manager.
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