David Kamerath, who risked his life April 21 when he dashed into a burning house to rescue 6-year-old Lauren Clark, has been chosen to receive the Justin Taufer award.
When Kamerath was notified of the award he acted in a typical hero fashion, said Justin Taufer Fund spokesman Gerald Stewart."He thought I was there to get a contribution to the fund and was about to write us a check until I stepped in and told him he was on the receiving end," said Stewart.
"I am really humbled by the award," said Kamerath, who denies he's a hero.
"The word hero makes me feel uncomfortable because I have my own heroes in life whomI revere," he said. "I guess you can become a hero in an instant, but to me heroes are the ones who live a lifetime of courage, like Lauren will have to, and her parents. It takes courage to rebuild your life and go on."
Lauren is recuperating from her burns at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center and was listed in serious but improving condition on Wednesday, said a nursing supervisor. The fire at 943 E. South Temple killed the girl's older brother, Elliot, and a 14-year-old girl who was visiting the family.
Kamerath said he was turning over the award's $250 to the Clark family to use in Lauren's rehabilitation.
The award is named for Justin E. Taufer who in 1977 was shot and killed when he tried to help a woman who was being assaulted in Mill Creek Canyon.