Front Royal man among Carnegie Heroes

From staff and AP wire reports

A Front Royal man is among 22 people who will be honored with cash awards and medals for heroism by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Bruce Edward Smoot, 43, saved a husband and wife from a fire that destroyed much of their Front Royal duplex on Super Bowl night in February 2012.

Smoot and Officer L.J. Waller of the Front Royal Police Department “waded through thick black smoke to reach the victims,” according to a news story in the Northern Virginia Daily.

“I didn’t really think about it. I just reacted,” Smoot told the Daily the day after the fire. “I guess I got it in me and didn’t know it.”

The other winners are from Alberta, Arkansas, British Columbia, California, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. Four of the winners died while trying to save others.

The Carnegie Hero awards are named for Pittsburgh industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who was inspired by stories of heroism during a coal mine disaster that killed 181 people. The commission awards medals and cash several times a year and has given away more than $36 million to nearly 10,000 awardees or their families since its inception in 1904.

More information: www.carnegiehero.org

Winners of Carnegie Hero medals to be awarded Wednesday are:

Daniel R. Thibeault, 43, of Edwards, Ontario, rescued a man from a fire there in November 2012.

Albert Costantini, 59, of Levittown, Pennsylvania, and Frederick S. Williamson, 46, of New Hope, Pennsylvania, saved a man from a fire in Southampton, Pennsylvania, in December 2012.

Alexander Lias Travis, 17, of Kirkville, New York, saved a 93-year-old man from drowning in Eaton, New York, in August.

Marcos Diaz, 29, of Homestead, Florida, helped to save a man from drowning in Key Largo, Florida, in July 2012.

Jose Alvarado, 48, of Kandiyohi, Minnesota, helped to save a brother, 5, and a sister, 8, from a fire there in August 2012.

Waseng Xiong, 31, of Rogers, Arkansas, saved a 76-year-old woman from a fire there in March 2013.

Kenneth Brandon Cowart, of Denison, Texas, died at age 38 while trying to save two boys from drowning in Cartwright, Oklahoma, in June 2012.

Michael D. McNally, 51, of Marstons Mills, Massachusetts, rescued a woman from a burning car there in June 2013.

Steven David Pippin Royal, 20, of Palm Beach, Florida, helped to rescue a police officer from an assault in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, in May 2013.

Mitchell L. McLean, of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, died at age 54 while trying to save other people from drowning in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, in July 2013.

Paul F. Frontiero III, of Nashua, New Hampshire, died at age 27 while saving a woman from assault there in October 2011.

Dion C. LeFebvre, 36, of Westlock, Alberta, rescued a girl from a fire in Wandering River, Alberta, in April 2012.

Shane M. Robinson, 23, of Spencer, Ohio, rescued a man and a woman from a fire in Huntington Township, Ohio, last year.

Danny Nash, of Lafayette, Tennessee, died at age 55 while trying to save two elderly neighbors from a fire in March 2013.

Lee Kenneth Murray, 44, of Comox, British Columbia, saved a woman from drowning in Courtenay, British Columbia, in July 2013.

Charles T. Carbonell Sr., 54, of Tampa, Florida, saved a woman from a vehicle fire in Lakeland, Florida, in November 2011.

Richard Irvin Moore, 57, of Laguna Niguel, California, rescued a woman from a shark attack in Wailea, Hawaii, in August.

Tyler P. Feagan, 18, of Dallas, Georgia, and Dillon Humphries, 17, of Hiram, Georgia, saved a man and a woman from drowning in Panama City Beach, Florida, in April 2013.

Bruce Edward Smoot, 43, of Front Royal, Virginia, saved a husband and wife from a fire there in February 2012.

John M. Curley Sr., 43, of Bellmore, New York, rescued a 92-year-old woman from a fire there in November 2012.