Paul Galotti

Sixty-one-year-old David Martinez, who uses a wheelchair, was trapped in his Easthampton, Massachusetts, burning apartment after his bedroom caught fire and blocked his exit. A neighbor, Paul Galotti, 38, environmental coordinator, was alerted to the May 15, 2022, fire and responded to the three-story apartment building. Galotti entered the structure through the front door and opened the door to the basement shouting for anyone inside to respond. Through dense black smoke pouring from the doorway, Galotti heard Martinez respond that he was in a wheelchair and needed help. Galotti descended the stairs, but quickly could not breathe and returned outside to take in air. Galotti pulled his shirt over his mouth and nose and returned to the stairs, which he descended and then searched for Martinez, who was 12 feet from the stairs. Galotti lifted Martinez from his wheelchair, hoisted him over his shoulder and left the building.