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Carnegie Awards 24 Medals To Heroes

December 23, 1986

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Seventeen-year-old Bradley Hall doesn’t think he’s a hero. But the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission and the handicapped man he dragged from a burning home one year ago say otherwise.

″He says he’s not a hero, but he is,″ Roland Winters of Placentia, Calif., said Monday. ″He went the last mile. He could have easily gotten killed.″

″I can’t believe that I would receive an award like this,″ said Hall. ″I thought nothing like this would ever happen to me.″

The Anaheim, Calif., teen-ager was one of 24 people honored Monday by the commission, which recognizes people who risk their lives to save or attempt to save the lives of others.

Hall was spending the night at Winters’ house when a daughter accidentally ignited a Christmas tree with a candle on Dec. 22, 1985.

Everyone escaped except Winters, who is crippled with muscular dystrophy. His son, Don, 17, re-entered to search for his father but was driven back by smoke. Hall, remembering a fifth-grade fire safety lesson, crawled on his stomach 28 feet through thick smoke to reach Winters.

″He was almost unconscious,″ Hall said. ″He was laying on the floor. He didn’t have his braces on. So I just dragged him out.

″I really thought ... I wasn’t going to make it,″ Winters, 44, said by phone. ″I started passing out. The fire was ripping right behind me. Then I heard Brad. I yelled to him to get out. But he said, ‘No, I can get you. I can get you.’ ″

With Winters safely outside, Hall returned for two cameras and entered a third time to get the keys to the family’s car.

Winters, who is a photographer, recovered from minor burns. Hall was not injured.

″It really restores my faith in the younger generation,″ Winters said.

The latest award recipients brings to 7,069 the number of people honored in the United States and Canada industrialist Andrew Carnegie established the Pittsburgh-based fund in 1904. The commission has distributed more than $16.4 million in 82 years with cash awards totaling $60,000.

The commission also named 23 others, five of whom gave their lives.

-Lucille Moore, 75, of Columbus, Ohio, who died Nov. 7, 1985, after saving a neighbor from a fire.

-Michael D. Croft, 40, an off-duty police officer from Cheektowaga, N.Y., who rescued an 84-year-old man from a fire March 10, 1986.

-Phillip Andrew Wynne, 29, of Mobile, Ala., who rescued an 80-year-old woman from an assault in her home July 23, 1985.

-Dennis G. Thomas, 30, of Port Huron, Mich., who saved a woman from drowning in the Black River on Jan. 23, 1986.

-John Stratton, 25, of Lansdowne, Pa., who carried a man to safety from a burning building Dec. 29, 1985.

-Clayburn R. Marsh, 49, of Crosbyton, Texas, who rescued a woman who was almost electrocuted on Dec. 8, 1985.

-Gregory A. Mellinger, 25, of Stevens, Pa., who saved a 65-year-old man who fell through ice while fishing on a lake March 10, 1986.

-Steven Roy Edmonson, 31, of Manchester, Ga., who rescued two boys from a burning tractor-trailer on Dec. 17, 1985.

-Joseph W. Schmider, 29, of Perkasie, Pa., who saved a woman and her daughter from a fire on Dec. 1, 1984.

-Harold L. Shelton Jr., 28, of La Porte, Ind., who rescued a man from a fire in his home Aug. 26, 1985.

-George J. Slatky, 48, of Hunlock Creek, Pa., who rescued a woman from a masked man armed with a knife who tried to pull her out of her car Jan. 21, 1986.

-Charles B. McCracken, 30, of Tenino, Wash., who saved two girls and helped to save their mother from a burning pickup truck Oct. 26, 1985.

-Rickard G. Spillmann, 40, of Olympia, Wash., who helped McCracken.

-David C. Ruble, 30, of Dreyfus, Ky., who rescued a 10-year-old girl from a burning house.

-Robert Lee Thomas, 23, of San Antonio, Texas, who rescued a 15-year-old girl from an assault Feb. 27, 1986.

-Rex A. Lewis, 30, of Hollister, Calif., who tried in vain to save a man from suffocation Oct. 19, 1984, after a power plant accident, and Michael DeWitt Puckett, 31, of Fresno, Calif., helped save Lewis from suffocation.

-Arthur J. Foucault, 61, of Orlando, Fla., who rescued a 1-year-old boy from burning on March 11, 1986.

-Bret M. Lincoln, 25, of Blackstone, Mass., who helped to save a 13-year- old boy and tried to save a 10-year-old from drowning Jan. 27, 1986.

-Ronald J. Mobley, 30, of Gypsy, W.Va., who died helping to save a 16-year- old girl from drowning Aug. 11, 1985.

-Danny Cummings, 27, William R. Burns, 34, and Raymond R. Dawley Jr., 37, all of Radcliff, Ky., who were killed by toxic gases while attempting to save a co-worker from suffocation at a waste treatment plant on July 5, 1985.