Dominick Fanno saved Edward and Alexander Nagy from drowning, Zelienople, Pennsylvania, August 12, 1918. Edward, 7, was wading in Connoquenessing Creek when he was caught in an eddy and carried into a hole 18 feet deep. Alexander, 10, went toward him but also became caught in the eddy and carried into the hole. Fanno, 40, section foreman, who could swim but a few strokes, waded to the edge of the hole, drew Edward out of the eddy, and pushed him toward the bank. A boy in an unsafe boat without oars reached Alexander, got out of the boat, and put Alexander on it. Fanno took a step toward Alexander but went into the hole. He took hold of the boat, and the boat sank. The boy who brought the boat swam to the bank. Fanno took hold of Alexander with both hands, and although he submerged, he held Alexander’s head above the surface of the water. A man waded near the hole and extended a fishpole to Alexander, and Alexander and Fanno were drawn to the bank. Fanno was unconscious but was revived. 19095-1565
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Dominick V. Fanno, 92, died on Oct. 28, 1971, in Jameson Memorial Hospital, New Castle, Pa.
A foreman for B&O from 1918 to 1951, Fanno received the B&O Railroad Safety Award in 1951, when he retired.
The former railroader was cited for a 37-year safety record by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. He was cited for never having a worker injured on the job in his tenure as foreman. Railroad officials also presented him with a new watch when they learned he lost his in Connoquenessing Creek saving two boys from drowning on Aug. 12, 1918.
Fanno went to the Ellwood, Pa., area in 1914. For the previous six years, he worked in Virginia, where he was recognized as the youngest foreman on the Virginia Railroad and supervised workers who laid the original railroad track between Norfolk and Roanoke.
Fanno was born in Sicily, Italy, on Jan. 16, 1879, to the Anthony and Providence DiJuiseppe Fanno. He went to the Pittsburgh area in 1888 and resided there for 10 years before going back to Italy to serve two years in the Italian Army. He returned to the U.S. in 1900.
He was a member of a railroad union, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way, and was a member of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church.
(Edited from an obituary in the New Castle, Pa., News, Oct. 29, 1971.)