Grace L. Patterson, 64, teacher, rescued Stephen W. Beck, 5, from burning, Claysville, Pennsylvania, July 8, 1968. In a two-story dwelling, Stephen was playing in the ground-floor laundry room, where two cans of gasoline had been left on the floor near a gas-operated water heater. His grandmother heard a muffled explosion, followed by screams from Stephen. She ran to the laundry room’s outside door and opened it but was driven back by dense smoke from flames on a large pile of toys, mostly plastics opposite the door. Mrs. Patterson, a neighbor, arrived and learned that Stephen was inside the laundry room. Flames rising from the toys then extended beneath the concrete ceiling and issued from the top of the doorway. Mrs. Patterson stepped into the laundry room, where other items also were afire and patches of flames burned on the concrete floor. Finding Stephen behind the door, Mrs. Patterson picked him up and ran outside. Immediately afterwards there was a sudden increase in the flames, and they issued four feet through the laundry room doorway. Stephen had suffered burns on his face and limbs and required extensive hospitalization. Mrs. Patterson had sustained burns on her legs, and she also was hospitalized when infection developed. Both Stephen and Mrs. Patterson recovered.
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