Shane Douglas Burger rescued Christine E. Flint from burning, Stafford, New York, July 17, 2002. Ms. Flint, 18, was unconscious in the driver’s seat of her car after a highway accident in which the car struck the side rear of a tractor-trailer and, its front end wedged under the trailer, caught fire. Traveling behind the tractor-trailer, Burger, 27, restaurant manager, witnessed the accident. He stopped at the scene, approached the vehicles, and, seeing Ms. Flint in the car, attempted to open the driver’s door. Despite flames on the rear of the trailer and the front end and roof of the car, he then leaned through the window of the driver’s door and attempted to move Ms. Flint, who still was wearing her safety belt. He withdrew from the car because of the heat and smoke, then re-entered after Ms. Flint roused and released her safety belt. Although flames by then had spread to the front passenger seat, Burger leaned into the car again, grasped Ms. Flint, and pulled her through the window to safety. Flames shortly engulfed the car. Ms. Flint was treated at the hospital for minor burns to her legs and other injury. Burger sustained lacerations to his arms and minor smoke inhalation; he recovered.
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