Tommy L. Barbee helped to save a man from burning, Tulsa, Oklahoma, February 16, 2006. A 34-year-old man lay overcome by smoke in the living room of his second-story apartment after fire broke out in the unit’s bedroom and spread. Flames and smoke issued from the apartment’s windows. On duty nearby, Barbee, 34, police officer, was alerted to the fire. Responding to the scene and learning that the apartment’s occupant was unaccounted for, he climbed the outdoor stairway to the second floor, kicked in the apartment door, and entered, his flashlight useless in the dense smoke. Yelling, Barbee heard the man moaning, then he crawled about 25 feet to where he lay. Barbee grasped the man by the arm and began to crawl backward to the door with him, but he lost his bearings in the smoke and began to shout for help. A second police officer who had responded shouted, and Barbee followed the sound of his voice to the door. A third man who had responded helped the officers pull the victim from the apartment, flames by then reaching and extending through the doorway. The three rescuers carried the victim down the stairs to safety. He was not burned but required three days’ hospitalization for treatment of smoke inhalation. Barbee also inhaled smoke, and he was given oxygen at the scene. Both recovered.
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