Gale R. Compton attempted to rescue Leo W. and Danny W. McElroy from burning, Villa Nova, Ohio, March 6, 1964. At night fire broke out in the bathroom of a one-story frame dwelling where Leo, 12, Danny, 1, and their sister Kathleen were with their mother, who telephoned firemen. Finding that flames had spread over the floor of a hall connecting the two bedrooms occupied by the children, the mother ran outside. Her screams attracted neighbors. A man broke a window in one of the bedrooms. Firemen arrived, followed by Compton, 37, state highway patrolman, and others, including Craig A. Albright. While firemen entered the front door and sprayed water on the flames, which were as much as five feet high, the neighbor told Compton that three children were inside and led him to the broken window. Compton climbed into the smoke-filled bedroom, where heat was intense. He moved across the room to the closed hallway door, which was burning, but was forced to return briefly to the window for air. He then located a bed and found Leo, who was unconscious. After carrying Leo to the window and handing him to the neighbor, Compton returned to the bed and removed Danny, who also was unconscious. Flames spurted to within two feet of him as he carried Danny to the window. Compton then located a crib, which was burning at one end, and probed it but found no one. Feeling dizzy, he started to leave but bumped into the wall. He found the window and climbed out. Meanwhile Albright had gone to the other side of the dwelling and had heard the mother screaming for someone to get Kathleen, who was in the other bedroom. Albright ran to the kitchen door on that side of the house and opened it. Through the dense smoke he dimly could see high flames in the hall. Albright walked across the kitchen, where heat was intense. Barely able to see, he bumped into a counter, which was very hot. He made his way to Kathleen’s bedroom and opened the door, one side of which was burning. Groping in the smoke-filled room, he found Kathleen, who was unconscious, and lifted her from the bed. As he ran from the room with her he bumped into a wall, became confused, and moved into the living room. He carried Kathleen through the front door. The three children, Compton, and Albright were removed to a hospital. Leo was pronounced dead on arrival, and Danny succumbed the next day from burns he had sustained. Kathleen, Albright, and Compton, who had sustained burns to his hands, were treated for smoke inhalation and recovered.
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