15 Honored for Heroism by Carnegie Commission : Recognition: The 13 Americans and two Canadians are commended for trying to save lives while risking their own.

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From Associated Press

An Oregon man who saved a 4-year-old girl who was playing in the path of a huge falling tree was one of 15 people cited Thursday for heroism by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.

“I couldn’t stand there and see a kid die,” said Claude Saunders Jr. of Lebanon, Ore. “You’d always think, ‘Well, I wonder if I could have done something.’ ”

The commission has honored 7,604 people in the United States and Canada since it was founded in 1904 by Pittsburgh industrialist Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie heroes are recognized for trying to save lives while risking their own.


Saunders, 27, said he does not remember much about the rescue, in which he lost part of a leg. Doctors said it was too traumatic for him to recall. Saunders’ wife and others witnessed the incident.

The commission cites heroes several times each year. Others recognized Thursday were:

--Harry E. Godt Jr., 34, of Middletown, Del., who died trying to save his wife and two children from a house fire on Feb. 24, 1989.

--William C. Bryant, 48, of Clarksville, Tenn., who died while trying to save his 11-year-old son from the family’s burning home on June 10, 1990.

--Robert M. Funk, 25, of Springville, N. Y., who died trying to save two people from drowning in Lake Erie near Port Colborne, Ontario, on July 4, 1990.

--Louis G. Nice Jr., 22, of Wheeling, W. Va., who rescued two young brothers from a burning apartment house next to his apartment building on Aug. 25, 1990.

--Shawn M. Bates, 16, of Bessemer, Ala., who saved 11 people by making three trips into a burning boarding home on Sept. 19, 1990. He alerted the residents to the fire and carried out at least two people.


--Robert F. Morel, 41, of Columbia, S. C., who rescued a wounded police officer from a gunman on Oct. 20, 1990, in Charlotte, N. C. Morel, who had been driving by, positioned his car between the officer, who had been shot twice, and the gunman. He then disarmed the gunman.

--Kenneth C. Livesy, 24, of Dallas and David V. Northcutt, 20, of Stoughton, Wis., who together rescued a motorist from his burning car on Oct. 28, 1990.

--Christopher Klemfuss, 30, of Schenectady, N. Y., who rescued an 80-year-old woman from her burning home on Nov. 15, 1990.

--Roy W. Davis, 43, of Palmerston, Ontario, who was severely injured trying to save a 5-year-old girl thrown from a runaway automobile on Nov. 16, 1990.

--Kenneth C. Berfelz, 24, of Listowel, Ontario, who helped rescue Davis from being repeatedly run over by the same runaway car. Berfelz entered and stopped the vehicle, which was traveling backward in circles in a parking lot.

--John C. Streeb, 38, of Hanover, Pa., who rescued a 2-year-old girl from a different runaway car on Nov. 18, 1990.


--Sean K. Lund, 16, of Palmer, Alaska, who tried unsuccessfully to rescue a 29-year-old neighbor from a house filled with carbon monoxide fumes on Dec. 10, 1990.

--Ellis Burton, 48, of Greenwood, Miss., who died in an unsuccessful attempt to save a co-worker buried in cottonseed meal on Dec. 12, 1990.