Terry D. Patterson saved Caitlyn N. Burdette from burning, Marmet, West Virginia, February 15, 1996. Caitlyn, 1, was in a bedroom of her family’s second-floor apartment after fire broke out in the adjoining living room. As flames spread, blocking the apartment’s only door, Caitlyn’s mother opened a window and called for help. Those responding included Patterson, 36, who lived nearby. Patterson attempted to enter the apartment through its door but found it locked; he then scaled the building by climbing electrical conduits affixed to its side near a window to Caitlyn’s bedroom. Patterson entered the bedroom through the window and, despite intense heat and dense smoke which precluded visibility, searched for Caitlyn. After returning to the window to ask for directions, he found Caitlyn, then carried her to the window and lowered then dropped her to bystanders. Using a ladder that had been secured for the rescue of Caitlyn’s mother, Patterson descended to the ground. Caitlyn was hospitalized five days for treatment of smoke inhalation; she recovered. Patterson also sustained smoke inhalation, from which he too recovered.
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