Natural gas leak leads to massive explosion, dramatic rescue by Paul W. Mongiello

Paul W. Mongiello
Photo by Ryan Kath of KSHB, Kansas City, Mo.

Returning home from work on February 19, 2013, Paul W. Mongiello, a 57-year-old insurance executive from Overland Park, Kan., was stopped in traffic in Kansas City, Mo., when a massive natural gas explosion reduced a nearby building to a pile of rubble.  He parked beyond the scene and returned to it on foot.  Hearing screams from inside the burning remains of the building, he set out to effect the rescue of two of the deadly explosion’s victims, carrying the first, then moments later the second, from the debris on his back.  He then he faded into anonymity. Tracked down by the media, Mongiello was recognized as the day’s hero and was awarded the Carnegie Medal last December.  His response: I’m extremely honored to have been nominated and to have received the Carnegie Medal.  I was aware of this award long before February 19, 2013, and greatly admired Mr. Carnegie for its conception, implementation, and stewardship.