Leslie M. Hough saved Trisha M. Carlin from burning, Centereach, New York, June 10, 1998. Ms. Carlin, 31, was semi-conscious in the cab of her burning pickup truck following a highway accident. Hough, 43, real estate agent, who lived nearby, heard the accident, then reported it and responded to the scene with a fire extinguisher. Although he was disabled by a painful back and neck condition, Hough fought the flames with the extinguisher, then attempted to open the driver’s door but found it jammed. He then went to the passenger side of the truck and opened that door. Hough reached his upper body into the cab, grasped Ms. Carlin, and pulled her out of the pickup and to the ground. Flames on the truck increased as Hough dragged Ms. Carlin to safety. Ms. Carlin was hospitalized three days for treatment of her injuries.
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When Leslie M. Hough saved a 31-year-old woman from a burning vehicle on June 10, 1998, Newsday touted him as the “Déjà vu Hero” in a headline. Hough, who died on June 11, 2019, at the age of 64, also had saved a young man from a burning vehicle in the 1970s.
In recalling the second rescue to a Newsday reporter, Hough said he was reading when he heard an explosion. “I saw the glow of flames through the fog. …It was kinda like déjà vu.”
The woman’s mother told the reporter that there were “no words that can express my gratitude.” “So many people pass by an accident and see broken bodies, fires and just keep on going,” she continued. “Thank God for him.”
Hough, who was living in Selden, N.Y., at the time of his death, was born on June 16, 1954. In correspondence with the Hero Fund when its staff investigated the later rescue, Hough shared a copy of a story from an unidentified newspaper that described his earlier instance of heroism at West Meadow Beach in the Stony Brook area of New York.
“He (the young man) fought with me and my dad as we tried to open the driver’s side door,” Hough was quoted as saying in the story, titled “An Uncommon Hero.” “When I pulled him out, he was in flames, so I rolled him in the beach sand.”
Reacting to his involvement in multiple rescues, Hough told a reporter, “I guess this is the role I have been given for this life.”
He was buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Patchogue, N.Y.
(Edited from an obituary published on the website for the Ruland Funeral Home.)