Stephen W. McInerney helped to rescue Rita D. Gross from burning, Burlington, Massachusetts, July 20, 1988. Trapped in the back seat of a car after a fiery highway accident, Mrs. Gross, 70, struggled to unfasten her seat belt as flames on the car grew to 10 feet and filled it with smoke. Having witnessed the accident, McInerney, 20, office systems installer, ran to the car and, after several attempts, kicked out the rear passenger window to gain access to Mrs. Gross. Another man then opened the door and unfastened her seat belt. McInerney leaned into the car, grasped Mrs. Gross, and, with assistance from the other man, pulled her out. They carried her to safety. Mrs. Gross was hospitalized with a concussion and second-degree burns, and she recovered. McInerney recovered from minor burns to his face and arms.
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