Michael P. Cowdin rescued Mabel K. Ellis from burning, Fort Worth, Texas, July 10, 1997. Ms. Ellis, 94, was in a bedroom of her one-story house after leaking natural gas ignited at night. Rooms of the house were scorched by the flashover, and Ms. Ellis’s bed was set aflame. Of limited vision and mobility, she called for help. A neighbor, Cowdin, 53, technical representative, was awakened by the gas igniting. He immediately responded to the scene, where, through a window, he saw Ms. Ellis on the edge of her bed. Cowdin broke out the window and entered the bedroom. He picked Ms. Ellis up and carried her to the window but then was forced outside by smoke. Cowdin returned to the bedroom, re-established a hold on Ms. Ellis, and passed her through the window to his son, who had arrived, before exiting again. Ms. Ellis was severely burned and died of effects of the fire within hours. Cowdin sustained first- and second-degree burns to his legs and feet; he required hospital treatment, and he recovered.
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