Merle Edward Watkins saved Fred D. Wood from burning. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 2, 1987. Wood, 80, was at home in his two-story house when fire broke out in the basement and filled the house with smoke. A neighbor, Watkins, 65, retired, was alerted; he ran to the burning house and entered its first-floor hall, calling Wood. Believing Wood to be at home, Watkins pushed open a barricaded door in the hall and crawled through three rooms of the house, having to pass over the basement flames, which he saw through the space between the floorboards. Watkins found Wood on the floor of the dining room and, although greatly outweighed by him, picked him up and dragged him through the smoke to the front door of the house. There, others aided them to safety. Wood required treatment for smoke inhalation.
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