Levi Parker Teuton rescued Chicago A. Gainer from burning, Myakka City, Florida, April 5, 2015. Chicago, 15, was trapped in the front passenger seat of an extended-cab pickup truck after an accident in which the vehicle left the roadway, struck a tree, and broke into flame at its rear end. The truck had been carrying propane in tanks and gasoline in containers, and both of those fuels contributed to the growth and spread of flames on and inside the vehicle. Teuton, 35, mechanic, drove upon the scene, stopped, and approached the pickup, where he heard Chicago shouting for help. He went to the front passenger door and attempted to open it, but it was jammed shut. Despite the advancing flames, which had reached the driver’s seat and the back of Chicago’s, Teuton partially entered the passenger compartment through the door’s window opening. Heat inside the vehicle was blistering. He grasped Chicago, who outweighed him, and, pulling repeatedly, freed him. He was backing through the window with Chicago when a propane tank in the back of the vehicle exploded, forcing both Teuton and Chicago from the pickup and onto the ground. Others responding moved Chicago away from the vehicle, and Teuton also reached safety. Both he and Chicago were airlifted to the hospital for treatment of their injuries. Teuton was detained 11 days for treatment, including surgery, of burns up to third degree to his face, arms, and legs, and he missed five months’ work.
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