Theodore L. Christoff saved Phyllis E. Landes from burning, Jackson, Michigan, November 3, 2006. Landes, 74, was in the living room of her one-story house after fire broke out on the back porch and spread to the rear interior of the structure. Alerted to the fire, Christoff, 36, business operator, immediately responded to the scene from his nearby house. He and two other men who responded removed Landes’s husband and son from the house through a window in the living room, but dense smoke thwarted their attempts to enter the structure through the same window for Landes. Christoff broke into the house through its locked storm door and front door, then he had to clear items that were blocking the door on the inside. Despite the dense smoke, which precluded visibility except for just above the floor, Christoff entered the living room and crawled about 10 feet to where he saw Landes sitting on the floor. With flames filling the adjacent kitchen, he turned Landes around, grasped her beneath the arms, and, dragging her, retraced his path to the front door. There, one of the other men helped take her to safety. Landes needed hospital treatment for smoke inhalation and minor burns. Christoff was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, and he sustained a deep cut on his foot that required suturing. He recovered.
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