Bobby G. Dulin, 27, freight checker., rescued Jerry B. Segars, 26, dock foreman, and Jerry L. Rushing, 27, freight checker, from burning, Ranlo, North Carolina, October 5, 1966. Segars and Rushing were loading bales of fabric in a plywood-lined metal trailer at a dock area when the propane tank fell from a fork lift which partially blocked the trailer entrance, and the escaping propane was ignited by heat from the lift’s motor. With a roaring sound, flames as from a blow torch shot into the trailer, extending in places its full width and rising to the ceiling. Segars and Rushing were seriously burned and, finding their path to the entrance blocked by flames, sought shelter behind some of the fabric bales, where they soon lost consciousness. Dulin ran to the trailer entrance, where flames issuing from the top had ignited the overhead door of the dock. Fire extinguishers used by others had little effect on the flames, which continued to be fed by the escaping propane and burned on the sides, floor, and ceiling of the trailer. Dulin was driven back by the very intense heat. He then stood beneath the dock area’s automatic sprinklers, which had been activated, and soaked himself completely. Dulin ran four feet into the trailer, crouching beneath overhead flames which at times extended to within four feet of the floor. Smoke was very dense, but he saw the propane tank on the floor at the end of the fork lift, on which the motor then was afire. Dulin grasped the bottom of the tank, which was warm, and turned it so that the valve at the top was against the floor, reducing the flow of the propane and the flames. Dulin dragged the tank, which weighed about 70 pounds, from the trailer and then pushed it onto the ground outside, extinguishing the fire at the valve. Dulin and others then were able to put out the remaining flames inside with fire extinguishers. Segars and Rushing remained unconscious and in serious condition for several weeks. They recovered but will require extensive plastic surgery.
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