Bobby Ward saved James B. Smothers, Jr., from burning, Louisville, Kentucky, April 1, 1967. When fire broke out in the kitchen of a frame and stucco dwelling where James, 5 months, was asleep in his crib in a first-floor bedroom, his mother ran to a nearby service station for help. Hearing the mother scream for someone to save her baby, Ward, 25, factory laborer, ran to the dwelling’s side door, from which a hall led to the bedroom. Informed of the location of James, Ward entered the hall and made his way through dense smoke until he encountered a sofa which partly blocked his passage. Ward moved around the sofa and continued past flames at the kitchen doorway. Forced to inhale smoke, he began coughing. He reached the smoke-filled bedroom and, guided by cries from James, located him in the crib. Ward lifted James into his arms and ran back through the bedroom door, the frame of which then was burning. By that time flames had spread over one wall of the hallway. Smoke was so intense that Ward barely could breathe. Crouching, he ran along the hall and bumped into the sofa. Ward moves around the sofa and in so doing rubbed against the burning wall. He then ran from the dwelling with James. Ward and James were hospitalized for burns they had sustained. Both recovered.
49500 – 537049500-5370