Raymond Caballero rescued Vivian A. Syverson from burning, Chicago, Illinois, June 30, 1991. Mrs. Syverson, 83, was in bed in her first-floor apartment when fire broke out near the bed. A neighbor, Caballero, 29, off-duty firefighter, was alerted and, dressed in only shorts and shoes, went to the burning building and entered. He crawled into Mrs. Syverson’s apartment and went to her bedroom, which by then was heavily involved in flame. He located Mrs. Syverson and pulled her from the bed, which was aflame, then dragged her from the room. He took her from the apartment to safety outside, where, despite his own burns, he worked to revive her. Mrs. Syverson was hospitalized six months for burns to 80 percent of her body, and she died 10 months after the fire. Caballero sustained burns, including third-degree, to more than 30 percent of his body, and he required lengthy hospitalization and therapy for nine months, during which he was unable to work.
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