Patrick J. Cromwell rescued Kathy A. Muñoz from burning, Veneta, Oregon, March 25, 2003. Ms. Muñoz, 38, was the driver of a sport utility vehicle that, after a highway accident, entered the parking lot of a tire shop, knocking down an electric power pole and striking a truck parked in the lot. Both Ms. Muñoz’s vehicle and the truck, in close proximity to each other, caught fire. Conscious but dazed, Ms. Muñoz remained in the driver’s seat. Cromwell, 31, chief mechanic at the tire shop, witnessed the accident and responded to the scene with a fire extinguisher, as did others from the shop. He stepped to a point between the burning vehicles and emptied the contents of his extinguisher into Ms. Muñoz’s vehicle through the shattered driver’s window. Cromwell then approached that vehicle’s passenger door and leaned inside. He grasped Ms. Muñoz, pulled her from the vehicle, and took her to safety. Ms. Muñoz required hospitalization for treatment of her burns, some severe. Cromwell received a small burn on his neck, and he recovered.
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