Ross C. Adair rescued Thad J. Cox, Jr., from burning, Gonzales, Louisiana, September 13, 1990. Thad, 9 months old, and an older half brother were inside their family’s mobile home when fire erupted in the kitchen before dawn. Their parents exited the mobile home and were repulsed by spreading flames, intense heat, and dense smoke in their attempts to reach them. A neighbor, Adair, 33, welder, was alerted to the fire. Despite deteriorating conditions and not knowing the boys’ location, he entered the mobile home through its front door and crawled into the living room, which was adjacent to the burning kitchen area. Groping along the floor, he found Thad and turned back to the door, sight of which was lost to him in the dense smoke. Adair exited the mobile home with Thad, who required hospitalization for severe third-degree burns. He recovered. Adair inhaled smoke, and he too recovered. Thad’s brother died in the fire.
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