Don F. Connelly rescued Roy E. Knight from burning, Folsom, California, June 23, 1959. At a rocket testing area where Knight, 39, propellant serviceman, was filling a drum with highly inflammable rocket fuel, the fuel issued through the drum’s air vent, saturating Knight’s clothing, which was of fire-resistant material. The spurting fuel then ignited, shooting flames 70 feet into the air; and the fuel on Knight’s clothing also caught fire. Seeking protection in case drums he already had filled should explode, Knight ran 35 feet to behind a tank 20 feet high. Another workman wearing similar attire met Knight, whose clothing was covered with flames six to twelve inches high. The man threw Knight to the ground and then went to get a water hose. Connelly, 51, test engineer, who was not wearing protective attire, ran 250 feet to Knight, who had risen to his feet with flames still burning on his clothing. Flames then were 30 feet high at the fuel drum. Connelly grasped Knight with both arms, threw him to the ground, and wrapped his legs around him. He then rolled with Knight until the flames on his clothing were extinguished. Another workman arrived and aided Connelly in removing Knight’s smoldering garments. They then moved Knight farther away from the burning fuel, which soon afterward was consumed. Knight was hospitalized for extensive burns and is partially disabled. Connelly escaped serious burns.
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