Francis H. Condon, 39, draftsman, saved Robert J. Turgeon and John H. Reynolds, Jr., both 21, students, and John C. Beurman, 20, clerk, from burning, Topeka, Kansas, May 10, 1958. When their convertible with top down was struck by another automobile, Turgeon, Reynolds, and Beurman were thrown onto the floor, unconscious and seriously injured. Flames, which broke out on the engine and in a pool of gasoline beneath, began to spread as Condon and others ran to the vehicle. Heat was intense. Condon stepped over the side of the convertible, which was only 38 inches above the pavement, and into the rear compartment. He leaned over the front seat, grasped Turgeon, and raised him from the floor. Stepping back over the side onto the pavement, Condon pulled Turgeon from the automobile and dragged him five feet. Another man helped to carry Turgeon to the side of the road. Condon ran back to the convertible, where flames issued through openings in the crumpled hood and burned on the pavement around the front end, and again stepped into the rear compartment. Avoiding flames then burning on the floor of the front compartment, Condon took hold of Reynolds, whose trousers were afire. An explosive spread of flames sent dense smoke upward through the floor boards into Condon’s face. Condon removed Reynolds as he had Turgeon, and once more returned to the convertible. By then the back end of the vehicle was afire, and flames were as much as five feet high. At Condon’s direction a man who had arrived with a fire extinguisher cleared a path through the flames to the other side of the automobile, where Beurman was wedged beneath the steering wheel. Occasional flames licked about Condon’s legs as he opened the door, grasped the arm of Beurman, whose trousers were afire, and forcibly pulled him from the automobile. Firemen soon arrived and extinguished the flames, which by then nearly enveloped the vehicle. The three young men were hospitalized for injuries, Reynolds and Bourman also having suffered severe burns. Condon suffered strained muscles and coughed for three days from smoke he had inhaled. All recovered.
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