Richard M. Estigoy rescued Katherine M. Contreras from burning, Berenda, California, June 13, 1970. When a station wagon containing Katherine, 2, and her parents was involved in a collision, flames broke out at the rear of the vehicle and spread to the interior. The parents were aided from the burning automobile by other motorists; but Katherine, who had been knocked unconscious and had fallen from the front seat to the floor, was hidden by clothing and luggage. Estigoy, 25, college student, was attracted and, hearing the mother scream for someone to get Katherine, ran to the station wagon’s right rear door. He was unable to open it, and the intense heat forced him to retreat. He then ran to the right front door, which was open. Despite the heat, Estigoy crouched beneath the smoke, reached into the front compartment, and probed the seat without finding Katherine. Placing first one knee and then both on the seat, he continued searching. He moved clothing and luggage and finally located Katherine. By then the spreading flames had reached the front compartment. Estigoy backed out of the station wagon with Katherine, both having sustained superficial burns from which they recovered.
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