Patrice Bélanger rescued a boy from burning, Rivière-Héva, Quebec, November 26, 2004. A 2-year-old boy and his young cousin were in the basement of a two-story house after fire erupted in that area. All occupants of the house, except the boy, fled to the outside. Bélanger, 41, forestry technician, was driving past the house when he saw smoke issuing from it. After alerting a neighbor, he returned to the scene, where he learned from the boy’s family that the boy was in the basement. Bélanger entered the house three times in search of the boy but was repulsed each time by smoke. On a fourth attempt, he crawled to the head of the basement stairs, then, feet first, crawled backward down them. Although there was no visibility in the basement because of the smoke, Bélanger found the boy, who lay unconscious on the floor. Taking hold of him, Bélanger crawled back up the stairs and exited the house. He resuscitated the boy, who required hospitalization for treatment of burns. Bélanger was examined at the hospital for smoke inhalation and was released later that day.
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