Robert C. Thomas, Sr., helped to rescue Lee de Mets from burning, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, September 29, 1981. De Mets, 40, was the pilot of an airplane that crashed after failing to take off. Flames erupted from a severed fuel tank and quickly spread to the fuselage, in which de Mets was pinned. Thomas, 34, auto body repairman, ran to the plane and mounted its remaining wing directly over an intact fuel tank. Despite flames on the plane that increased to 15 feet in height, Thomas and a co-worker reached inside the cockpit and freed de Mets. They and another co-worker then pulled de Mets from the plane and carried him to safety. De Mets recovered from burns and two broken ankles.
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