Thomas Allen Lewis saved Teresa L. Carneal from suffocation Charlottesville, Virginia, February 16, 1968. When fire broke out in a one-story frame dwelling in the bedroom adjoining that of Teresa, 3, her mother tried to get her but was prevented from doing so because dense smoke filled most of the house. The mother’s screams attracted Lewis, 23, police officer, who ran to her on the front porch. When the mother said that Teresa was in the bedroom, Lewis dropped to his knees and, in the less dense smoke near the floor, crawled through the living room to the bedroom which was afire. Conditions forced him to return to the porch. The mother then told Lewis that Teresa was in the other bedroom. Lewis again crawled through the living room, where visibility was decreasing, and entered Teresa’s bedroom. He saw no flames, but the smoke caused him to cough violently and he returned to the porch for air. Placing his jacket over his head, Lewis again crawled back to Teresa’s bedroom. He had reached the middle of the room when he heard her crying. Lewis began coughing as he moved toward the crying sound and reached the bed but found no one on it. He located Teresa under the bed, drew her to him, and crawled to the bedroom door. Still coughing, he arose and ran from the house with Teresa. Lewis then collapsed but did not lose consciousness. Firemen treated him and he quickly recovered. Neither Lewis nor Teresa sustained burns.
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