PITTSBURGH — A Northport, Maine, man has been awarded a Carnegie medal for heroism for rescuing a 71-year-old woman from a fire in December 2010.

The Carnegie Fund for Heroism Commission cites Jason W. Thurston for rescuing Nina Tyutyunnykk, from her home after fire erupted in a bedroom and sent smoke throughout the house, according to the Carnegie fund’s website.

Thurston, 30, who lived nearby, was alerted to the fire and informed that Tyutyunnyk was inside.

“He went to the scene, entered the structure through a side door opening off a deck, and found Tyutyunnyk fighting the fire in the bedroom,” the Carnegie citatition says. “He pulled her outside, but she re-entered and returned to the bedroom. Again Thurston entered the house and pulled her out, but she repeatedly broke away from him to re-enter the structure, during which she inhaled smoke and sustained burns to her face, arms, and back.

“Thurston re-entered the house a final time and took Tyutyunnyk to the deck. Flames grew to engulf the bedroom and spread beyond it. Tyutyunnyk required hospitalization for treatment of her injuries. Thurston, his hair singed, was given oxygen at the scene and treated at the emergency room for smoke inhalation. He recovered.”

Carnegie medalists or their heirs receive financial grants from a fund. More than $33.9 million has been awarded to 9,516 honorees since the fund’s inception in 1904. New recipients are announced four times a year.

Steel baron Andrew Carnegie was inspired to start the fund after hearing rescue stories from a mine disaster that killed 181 people.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, based in Pittsburgh, says its mission is to recognize people who perform heroic acts in civilian life and to provide financial help to those disabled, or to the dependents of those killed, by their heroism.