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Island woman gets Carnegie Medal for racing into burning home to save neighbour

Former Duncan resident Suzanne Fortin just one of 17 recipients from across North America
Suzanne Fortin, formerly of Duncan, is receiving the prestigious Carnegie Medal for rescuing a man from his burning mobile home last year. (Courtesy of Carnegie Institute)

Suzanne Fortin, formerly of Duncan, is receiving the prestigious Carnegie Medal for rescuing a man from his mobile home after an explosion at an RV park in Duncan last year.

In its third announcement of 2022, the Carnegie Hero Fund is recognizing 17 civilians from across North America who risked their lives to save others, including Fortin.

On March 6, 2021, a propane-related explosion left 75-year-old David M. Munce dazed and motionless at the stove inside his mobile home.

His neighbour Fortin, who was 70 at the time, heard the explosion and saw smoke issuing from Munce’s home.

Fortin entered the mobile home, where flames had broken out behind the stove and along the rear wall, went to Munce and guided him outside to safety.


The fire eventually engulfed the mobile home.

Munce was hospitalized for more than a month and underwent grafting surgery on his hands. Fortin was uninjured.

The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who enter extreme danger while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

With this announcement, the Carnegie Medal has been awarded to 10,324 individuals since the inception of the Pittsburgh-based Fund in 1904.

Each of the recipients or their survivors will receive a financial grant.

Throughout the 118 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, more than $44 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.

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Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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