Robert A. LaRoche helped to rescue Marcel R. Tabor from burning, Attleboro, Massachusetts, March 4, 1998. Tabor, 36, was inside his apartment on the second floor of a two-story, wood-frame house when the building was blown apart by a massive explosion of natural gas that had leaked into the basement. Blown from the house, Tabor landed atop rubble, pinned by a wooden beam. At a neighboring residence, LaRoche, 32, roof shingle maker, and a man who was with him witnessed the explosion and immediately ran to the scene, where they found Tabor, who was unconscious. LaRoche lifted the beam to free Tabor while the other man pulled on him, then together LaRoche and the other man lifted Tabor and carried him away from the rubble. Within moments, flames on the debris grew and spread quickly, soon engulfing the site, as the gas continued to leak. Two men died in the accident, and seven others, including Tabor, required hospital treatment for their injuries. Tabor sustained second- and third-degree burns and other significant injury.
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