Andrew Allen Richmond, 39, farmer, saved Ruth L. Kiel, 37, and attempted to save Patricia A. Kiel, 1, from burning, Cottonwood, South Dakota, November 4, 1935. Patricia was left in one of two beds in a room on the second floor of a frame house, and other children started a fire in the room and left it. Mrs. Kiel, who had been outside the house a short time, ran up the stairway and in dense smoke tried to locate Patricia, who had been removed from the bed by the children. The sheets were burning, and Mrs. Kiel’s arms and hair were singed. She started toward the stairway. Richmond, who had weak lungs, ran up the stairway to the second step from the top. The walls and the ceiling were burning. Mrs. Kiel was kneeling 18 inches from the top of the stairway. Richmond took hold of a blanket which Mrs. Kiel was holding, put it over her head, smothering out fire in her hair, and then took hold of her arms. Mrs. Kiel grabbed his arms; and he fell backward down the stairway, pulling her with him. Mrs. Kiel got to her feet and started up the stairway; and Richmond, who was briefly dazed, got to his feet, followed her, and got hold of her near the top. Although she squirmed and twisted, Richmond kept hold of her and dragged her down to the first floor. He was coughing and expectorating blood. He was given a drink of water and again ascended the stairway. Flames darted toward the stairway and descended to within three feet of the floor. Richmond lay flat and breathing with difficulty crawled six feet from the stairway toward the bed but could not locate Patricia. He then crawled back to the stairway and descended. While crawling, falling embers burned holes in his sweater. Patricia was burned in the house, which was entirely burned. Mrs. Kiel sustained slight burns. Richmond sustained fractures of three ribs. His lung condition was aggravated by the inhalation of smoke, and he was fully disabled three weeks.
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