William W. Crowell rescued a man from burning, Chatsworth, New Jersey, July 7, 1999. A 41-year-old man lay trapped in the front passenger seat of a sport-utility vehicle that, in a highway accident, had left the roadway, turned onto its passenger side, and caught fire. Traveling on the same highway, Crowell, 52, mechanic, arrived at the scene and saw the vehicle. He stopped, approached the vehicle, and entered it through its rear-door area as flames issued from its front end. Having difficulty breathing in the vehicle’s smoke-filled interior, Crowell exited and obtained a flashlight and fire extinguisher, both of which proved to be ineffective. Crowell re-entered the burning vehicle and handed a pocketknife to the man, who cut his safety belt. By then, flames had spread to the interior of the vehicle, on the dashboard. Crowell grasped the man by the wrists, pulled him from his seat, and dragged him out of the vehicle, through its rear, then took him to the highway shoulder. Crowell returned to the vehicle to look for any other occupants, but the vehicle was engulfed by flames. The man required hospital treatment for his injuries. Crowell inhaled smoke but did not seek medical treatment, and he recovered.
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