Albert F. Wadosky helped to save Donald C. Elliott following an explosion, Dravosburg, Pennsylvania, August 31, 1961. At a steel mill a violent gas explosion occurred at one of the mill units, which was engulfed briefly by a mass of flames 30 feet in diameter. Elliott, 40, mill recorder, who was less than 10 feet away, was severely burned and knocked into the unit’s service pit, which was 10 feet deep and seven feet wide. Flames as much as six feet high then burned on the unit, and lesser flames spread into the pit. Wadosky, 42, general laborer, ran 90 feet to the pit and saw Elliott, his clothing in shreds and his entire body blackened, standing 25 feet from the burning unit and five feet from the nearest flames. Fearing a possible second explosion or explosive spread of flames, Wadosky jumped down onto a roller carriage track, which extended lengthwise in the pit and was three and a half feet above the bottom. He dropped to his knees, reached downward, and grasped Elliott under the armpits but was unable to lift him. At Wadosky’s call for assistance, John R. Polcha also jumped down onto the track, from where he took hold of Elliott’s legs. Flame conditions at the unit and in the pit remained the same. Between them Wadosky and Polcha lifted Elliott and, standing erect, raised him over their heads. Two other workmen then drew Elliott onto the mill floor, after which Wadosky and Polcha climbed out of the pit. Plant firemen arrived and extinguished the flames. Other men nearby when the explosion occurred recovered from their burns, but Elliott died five days after the accident.
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