Chilton V. Shaffer rescued Katherine M., 1, and Margaret A. Hastings, 2, and their mother, Marilee A. Hastings from burning, Gary, Indiana, January 14, 1964. When fire broke out in their one-story frame dwelling, Mrs. Hastings, 23, and her daughters were overcome by heat and smoke and fell unconscious near the doorway between the entrance hall and the living room. Shaffer, 46, powerhouse engineer, a neighbor, was attracted by the smoke and ran to the front door. When he forced the door open, heat and smoke drove him back and caused him to cough violently. Holding his breath, he crouched and entered the hall. Heat was intense and through the dense smoke he dimly could see the red glow of flames in the living room. Shaffer found Katherine near the doorway, and he carried her from the dwelling. On his second trip into the hall he located Mrs. Hastings, who was in the living room doorway, and dragged her outside. When Shaffer entered the hall the third time heat and smoke had increased greatly. He had not found Margaret by the time he reached the living room doorway, where the glow of flames and heat were more intense. Shaffer placed one foot in the living room, crouched very low, and leaned forward with his head and hands within a foot of flames four to five feet high. He felt about on the floor, located Margaret, and carried her outside. Firemen arrived and extinguished the flames, but the dwelling was a total loss. Mrs. Hastings, Katherine, and Margaret were hospitalized for extensive burns. Shaffer’s ears were burned, and his hair was singed. All recovered.
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