Richard Gustin helped to rescue William E. McElveen, Michael R. Purdin, and George K. Horne from burning, Buchanan, New York, April 11, 1989. McElveen, 42; Purdin, 27, and Horne, 48, were dazed inside a car that had caught fire in a highway accident. Witnessing the accident, Gustin, 25, security guard, and another man ran to the driver’s door of the car and forced it open. After the other man helped McElveen out of the car, Gustin entered its back seat area, grasped Purdin, and pulled him from the car. Gustin and the other man then returned to the car for Horne. After the other man shattered the window of the passenger door with a rock, he and Gustin reached inside the car and pulled him through the window, despite intense heat inside the car and flames which had by then entered it. McElveen, Purdin, and Horne were hospitalized eight days for their injuries, Horne’s including second- and third-degree burns to his legs. Gustin sustained minor smoke inhalation, from which he recovered.
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