Richard E. Baas rescued Joseph R. Holvell from burning, Mokena, Illinois, December 28, 1988. Joseph, 1, was in his crib in a bedroom of his family’s home when fire broke out in the living room. At work nearby, Baas, 31, greenhouse manager, was alerted to the fire. He immediately ran to the house and, learning that Joseph was inside, broke a bedroom window and reached in for him. Unable to locate Joseph, Baas climbed atop a picnic table and partially entered the room, but again he was unable to reach Joseph. Despite intense heat and dense smoke filling the room, Baas then climbed completely into the bedroom and went to the crib, where he grasped Joseph. Carrying Joseph, Baas climbed outside to safety. Joseph was hospitalized four months for treatment of extensive third-degree burns. Baas sustained smoke inhalation, first- and second-degree burns, and a severe laceration and was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital, where he was detained for two days. He fully recovered.
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