The night of May 24, 2019, after cook Luis Alberto Mendoza, 29, now of Loves Park, Ill., awoke to discover rapidly spreading flames inside his Beloit, Wis., home. Flames outside his kitchen that had already blocked his path to the backdoor, he moved toward the front door of his home when he heard a 24-year-old woman call for help. Mendoza went to the basement where he found the woman with her two sons, ages 6 and 3. Carrying one of the boys, he led the woman carrying the other son to the top of the stairs, but advancing fire forced them back down into the basement. Mendoza used his fist to break out a small basement window, where he helped the woman and children escape. Mendoza returned to the kitchen, where heat was blistering and exited the house through the front door, suffering second-degree burns to his face and hands in the process. He recovered.