Ronald M. Robertson saved Timothy S. Wistafke and Melissa Talley and attempted to save Joshua D. Wistafke, Jr., and Breanna N. Talley from suffocation, Huntsville, Alabama, June 14, 2000. Melissa Talley, 24, and her children Timothy, 2; Joshua, 2, and Breanna, 3, were in bedrooms of the family’s mobile home after fire broke out in the living room. Others fled the burning structure and alerted Robertson, 29, tattoo artist, who lived nearby. Robertson immediately responded to the scene, where he placed an inverted garbage can below a bedroom window. Standing on the can, he leaned through the window and grasped Timothy, who lay unconscious on a bed just inside the window. After removing Timothy from the mobile home, Robertson climbed through the window into the smoke-filled room, which adjoined the burning living room. He took Joshua, also unconscious, from another bed in that room and handed him through the window to safety. Having seen Ms. Talley unconscious on the floor of that room, Robertson dragged her to the window and handed her out. As firefighters and other emergency personnel were arriving, Robertson turned back into the room and proceeded to the adjacent bedroom, where he found Breanna, unconscious, on the doorway floor. He picked her up, went to a window in the adjacent bedroom, and handed her outside to safety, then climbed through the window himself. Timothy and Ms. Talley required hospital treatment for smoke inhalation, but Joshua and Breanna died of effects of the fire. Robertson inhaled smoke and sustained a laceration behind his ear, and he recovered.
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