Ervin F. Nienke attempted to save James E. Thach and Robert D. Wittich from suffocation, Holyrood, Kansas, August 16, 1973. When a workman was overcome in a storage tank that had contained crude oil, three men entered the tank in an attempt to give aid and were themselves overcome. Nienke, 41, service station operator, arrived at the scene in answer to a call for volunteer firemen. He entered the tank long enough to put a looped rope around Thach, 48, who then was pulled out. Nienke repeated the action; and Wittich, 20, was removed. Thach and Wittich died, as did the other two men in the tank.
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