EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – An Easthampton man is being nationally recognized for his heroic actions last May when he rescued a disabled man during a fire.

Paul Galotti, 38, of Easthampton will be awarded the Carnegie Medal, North America’s highest civilian honor for heroism. The Carnegie Hero Fund is honoring Galotti and 14 others for their heroic actions where they risked serious injuries or death to save someone else.

On May 15 around 6 p.m., a three-story apartment building caught fire in a first-floor bedroom, blocking the entrance for 61-year-old David Martinez, who uses a wheelchair. Galotti quickly entered the building through the front window and shouted down to the basement to find anyone inside. Martinez shouted back that he was in a wheelchair and needed help.

Galotti went down the stairs but encountered a large amount of smoke. He returned outside for some air, placed his shirt over his face and went back inside the building. Galotti re-entered the basement, located Martinez and lifted him from his wheelchair. Galotti placed Martinez over his shoulder and exited the building.

Galotti was honored back in September with the Madeline “Amy” Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery. During the event, he said, “I thought I’d check the basement one more time, and I screamed down there again and I heard somebody down there. I went back down in there to try again and was lucky. He was just close enough that I could reach him, light enough that I could carry him. Luck was the biggest factor. The fact that my wife noticed it so quickly is what yielded that result.”

An investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office along with Easthampton Fire & Police found the cause of the fire to be careless disposal of smoking materials.