Brenda L. Peck died after saving Stephen J. Gilligan and others and attempting to save Kenneth E. Fields from burning, Watertown, New York, January 22, 2000. In the early morning, Gilligan, 19, and three others were asleep in a first-floor apartment of a two-story house after fire broke out in the kitchen of the adjoining apartment and spread. Fields, 58, was in an apartment on the second floor. Ms. Peck, 27, cook, who occupied the apartment in which the accidental fire originated, fled the unit and pounded on the door of the adjoining one, awakening Gilligan and alerting him to the fire. Gilligan and the others fled that apartment to safety as Ms. Peck went to the second floor and alerted Fields. Gaining access to his apartment, Ms. Peck was heard, in reporting the fire, urging Fields to flee. Flames shortly engulfed the house and spread to an adjacent one. Firefighters found the bodies of Ms. Peck and Fields in Fields’s apartment. Both had died of smoke inhalation.
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