Vincent M. Viancourt helped to save Charles Hoffman, Jr., and Denzil R. Moss and helped attempt to save Nancy J. Moss from drowning and burning, Cleveland, Ohio, May 9, 1993. Charles, 10 months old, was aboard a cabin cruiser docked at a restaurant on the bank of the Cuyahoga River with his uncle, Moss, 24; his grandmother, Mrs. Moss, 51, and other relatives. An explosion in the boat threw all occupants but Charles into the water; covered by debris, Charles remained in the boat, which started to burn. Viancourt, 39, off-duty firefighter, and two of his brothers were nearby on the dock and witnessed the explosion. Viancourt immediately boarded the boat, found Charles, and passed him to one of his brothers on the dock. Flames grew on the boat, producing dense black smoke, and spread to the dock, restaurant, and a fuel slick on the water in the vicinity. After Moss was seen in the water at the rear of the burning boat, Viancourt and his brothers entered the river for him. They secured him with a boathook, then took him to a state patrol boat that had arrived, aided by one of the officers from the boat. Mrs. Moss was then seen floating near the burning boat. Viancourt, his brothers, and the officer swam toward her but were repulsed by the flames. They returned to the patrol boat, where they helped to fight the fire. Viancourt and one of his brothers re-entered the water, retrieved Mrs. Moss, and took her back to the patrol boat. She could not be revived. Charles was hospitalized, and he recovered; Moss also was hospitalized but died several days later. Viancourt was treated at a hospital emergency room for minor injuries, and he recovered.
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