Philip J. Smith helped to rescue Betty J. Stomp from burning, Southfield, Michigan, May 4, 1997. Ms. Stomp, 75, was the driver of an automobile that, stopped at an intersection, was struck from behind by another car. Flames erupted on both vehicles and, fueled by gasoline, quickly intensified on Ms. Stomp’s car. Others at the scene, including Smith, 29, systems engineer and motorist who was stopped at the intersection, responded to the burning vehicles. Smith opened the driver’s door of Ms. Stomp’s car and attempted to remove her from the vehicle, but he had to withdraw because of flame conditions. On a second attempt, he pulled Ms. Stomp out of the car to the pavement but had to draw back again when his attire and person caught fire. Extinguishing the flames on himself, Smith returned to Ms. Stomp, who also was aflame, and aided in taking her to the curb. Others who had responded rescued Ms. Stomp’s husband and the occupants of the second car. Ms. Stomp was hospitalized for treatment of burns. Smith too was hospitalized, for four days, for treatment of first- and second-degree burns to his face and both hands and knees.
71684 – 821171684-8211