Michael L. Noriega helped to save Lucille Meistrell from burning, Manhattan Beach, California, November 5, 2009. Meistrell, 92, was in her bedroom in her one-story house after fire broke out in that room late at night. Her caregiver discovered the fire and was able to move her from the room and into the hall. Noriega, 56, county manager, lived next door. Alerted to the fire, he entered the house through its front door, proceeded through smoke to the hall, and located the women. Noriega grasped Meistrell and with difficulty started to remove her. Needing air, he retreated to the front door, as did the caregiver. They shortly re-entered the house and returned to the hall. Grasping Meistrell, they maneuvered her through the hall, across the living room, and out through the front door as police and firefighters were arriving. Meistrell and the caregiver were taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. Noriega inhaled smoke and was examined at the scene. He recovered.
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