Addie S. McCormick died helping to save an indeterminate number of persons from burning, Ottawa, Ontario, July 30, 1964. Mrs. McCormick, 64, telephone switchboard operator, was at the switchboard on the ground floor of a 12-story hotel when fire broke out in a storage room and spread to the foyer. As dense smoke filled the first floors the hotel accountant sounded a fire alarm and ordered the employees to leave. Mrs. McCormick telephoned firemen but remained at the switchboard. She answered at least two calls of inquiry from persons on the upper floors, where there were about 60 guests and a number of employees. Mrs. McCormick told the callers of the fire, said firemen had been notified, and advised use of the stairs rather than the elevator which adjoined the storage room. On her way downstairs, one woman heard telephones ringing in other rooms on two floors. Mrs. McCormick also reported the situation to other guests. Checking the area, the accountant saw Mrs. McCormick still at her position and again ordered her to leave. She answered, “I’m coming.” The man left the hotel and two minutes later attempted to re-enter. He found that flames by then completely filled the foyer and blocked Mrs. McCormick’s only means of exit. He shouted to her but got no reply. Firemen arrived and extinguished the flames. Mrs. McCormick, who was suffocated, was found on the floor in front of the switchboard.
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