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BOSTON — As part of a Monday ceremony commemorating the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, four Berlin residents received an award for their response to a Berlin home explosion in April.
Lt. Gov. Kimberley Driscoll presented Brian and Dylan Clemmer, Bobby Wheeler and Jonathan Golas with the Madeline “Amy” Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery. The annual award honors civilians for their bravery in saving the life of someone in imminent danger.
The award honors the American Airlines flight attendant from Acton who was killed Sept. 11, 2001.
The four recipients were near the area of an explosion reported at 71 Pleasant St. in Berlin April 14. The fire and explosion killed Judith A. "Judy" Christensen, 79, and injured her daughter Jill.
Authorities have determined that the explosion was caused by propane leaking from a tank and into the house's basement. The gas was ignited by an undetermined source.
With the assistance of Police Officer Molly Plante, the four civilians searched the scene of the explosion and heard cries under the debris.
Jill Christensen was discovered by the team and was carried over power lines to safety — moments before a second explosion.
“Faced with the danger of an active fire in a hazardous structure, their courageous decision to search and rescue made the difference between life and death," Driscoll said. "May their example, together with those of the 9/11 community, inspire us to lead lives rooted in service of our neighbors.”
Brian and Dylan Clemmer and Wheeler as well as Plante were recognized by Berlin Police and Fire/EMS in April for their bravery.
Monday's award recipients were nominated by Berlin Fire Chief Michael McQuillen and Police Chief Eric Schartner. They were selected by the Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery Selection Committee, which is chaired by Driscoll.
Today, @MassLtGov and Anna Sweeney presented the Madeline “Amy” Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery to four residents of Berlin, MA for their extraordinary rescue following a house explosion in their residential area. #Remembering911
Learn more: https://t.co/Ufw9wtAPjh pic.twitter.com/PaEq4rrRH5
— Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (@EOPSS) September 11, 2023
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Four Berlin residents honored at Sept. 11 ceremony for saving a life after April explosion