When Hamilton, Mass., Police Sergeant Karen Wallace arrived on Savoy Road early today, she spotted an older woman pacing back and forth on the second floor of a house that had caught fire and was quickly filling with heavy smoke.

"She seemed disoriented, and wasn’t responding," Wallace said today in a telephone interview with the Boston Globe. "I tried calling her down the stairs, but she said she was looking for her shoes."

The husband, meanwhile, was refusing to leave the smoky doorway until his wife was rescued, Wallace said. The couple were in their 70s, Wallace said.

Wallace decided to run into the house, forcing her way through a haze of white smoke to the second floor. There, she took the woman’s arm and helped guide her down the stairs, walking her carefully out of the front door and into her husband's waiting arms.  

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