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The Man Who Braved the Smoke

The name of the man who braved the smoke is Gabe Toole--just turned 21 and about 135 pounds. Your story gets the basic facts right, but the TV news did not. There were several people on the roof and even more on the ground, but only one person was courageous enough to go through the window, into the suffocating smoke, find the unconscious woman, drag her off the bed, across the floor, and then lift her into the wndow opening for others to pull her out. The smoke was so severe and the task so difficult that he had to enter the house several times, coming out for air and then returning to his efforts amid the smoke-filled room. At no point did anyone else, including the man you quote in the story as doing something worthy of note, offer to help him inside the house. Every time he went through that window and into the smoke, he was all alone.

Let's give credit where credit is due. I admit that I am biased because I am Gabe's father, but the facts are the facts, and he is the only person who risked his own life last night in order to attempt to save the life of a stranger. That is both the real story here, and something we can all aspire to.

It is also worth noting that the way to end this story is not with a comment about insurance but with concern for the health of the woman, who apparently remains hospitalized. May we all pray that she recovers fully.


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