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Carnegie Medal for J. Thorpe man who died in fire

  • Larry G. Darrohn Jr.
    Larry G. Darrohn Jr.
Published December 22. 2010 05:00PM

A Jim Thorpe man who died while trying to rescue a neighbor from her burning apartment is being honored posthumously for his heroic actions.

Larry G. Darrohn Jr., who was 46 when he died, has been named a "Carnegie Medal Awardee."

Darrohn died on Dec. 12, 2009, while attemptiing to rescue Sharon Joseph, 63, who lived on the second floor of the same apartment as Darrohn.

Darrohn lived on the first floor of the two-unit apartment building at 119 North Avenue.

According to investigators, Joseph's daughter, Erin, 39, who lived with her mother, ran downstairs when the fire happened - which was at 2:22 a.m. - and sought the help of Darrohn.

Darrohn went upstairs and apparently was overcome by smoke.

Joseph was found dead in the bathroom of her apartment, investigators said.

Jim Thorpe Fire Chief William Diehm, who was one of the investigators in that blaze, said he remembers the circumstances from that tragic morning very well.

"He put himself in harm's way and paid the ultimate price," said Diehm of Darrohn.

He said Darrohn was a former Marine and probably acted on instinct in trying to save the neighbor.

Darrohn is one of 21 individuals from throughout the country getting the Carnegie medal on Wednesday. He is the only one from Pennsylvania.

The Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Heroes Fund was started in 1904 by steel baron Andrew Carnegie, who was inspired after hearing rescue stories from a mine disaster that killed 181 people. Since then, more than $32.9 million has been awarded to 9,412 people.

Medalists, or their heirs, receive $5,000.

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