Fred G. Wolff, 60, railroad-car repairer, rescued Henry E. Wilson, 58, express messenger, from burning, Pecatonica, Illinois, July 2, 1935. When a combination motor-car of steel construction was derailed, Wilson fell to the floor of the baggage-compartment; his foot was fractured; and he lay helpless. The truck under the baggage-compartment broke loose, and the bed of the car dragged on the rails. Four tanks, together containing 425 gallons of gasoline, were under the car. Flames from ignited gasoline from a ruptured tank extended two and a half feet out from each side of the car and rose six feet in places. Wolff, who had walked 200 feet from the car to escape a possible explosion of the tanks, returned to a point near the baggage-compartment; and after being driven back once by a burst of flames, he jumped into the compartment through a doorway a foot above the ground. While flames extended a foot and a half into the car from the doorway, Wolff lifted Wilson to his feet; but Wilson collapsed. Again taking hold of him, Wolff walked backward several steps to the doorway but feared Wilson would be burned if dragged through the flames. Wolff tried to open the door at the end of the car but could not and then opened a door opposite that which he had entered. Intermittent flames rose three feet. Wolff then walked backward, dragging Wilson to the doorway; and as the flames subsided momentarily, he jumped to the ground and pulled Wilson with him. Neither was burned. Twenty-five minutes after the act an explosion caused flames to rise 10 feet, and the car was damaged beyond repair.
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