Patrick Duerden rescued Catherine A. Blackwood from burning, Toronto, Ontario, August 25, 2006. Blackwood, 70, was inside her one-story house after fire broke out in a bedroom and filled the structure with dense smoke. On paid-duty detail nearby, Duerden, 27, police constable, learned of the fire, and he responded to the scene. When told that the house was occupied, he entered it through the rear door but was immediately forced out by the smoke, which limited visibility. Crawling, Duerden re-entered the house. Proceeding about 20 feet, he crossed the kitchen and entered the living room, where he found Blackwood lying on the floor near the fire’s room of origin. She was not responsive. He grabbed her by the legs and, dragging her, retraced his path to the back door and outside to safety. Both Blackwood and Duerden were taken to the hospital, where Duerden was treated for smoke inhalation. He recovered. Severely burned, Blackwood died later that day.
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