H. Oscar Montgomery, 54, truck driver, saved an indeterminate person or persons from an explosion and burning, Harmony, North Carolina, May 12, 1948. While Montgomery was filling the underground tank of a gasoline pump in a service station through a hose from a compartment of the tank-truck containing 160 gallons of gasoline, a man tossed a burning match near the filler-pipe of the pump tank. Flames suddenly rose above the pipe and enveloped the rear end of the tank-truck. Other compartments of the tank-truck contained 400 gallons of gasoline and 100 gallons of kerosene. Montgomery ran to the filler-pipe and lowered his cap into the flames to seal off fumes, but the cap caught fire. He then pulled the end of the hose out of the pipe and flung it on the driveway. Flames shot up 15 feet from gasoline spreading from the hose, and his trousers caught fire. Removing them, Montgomery ran to the truck cab, climbed in, and drove the truck onto an adjacent highway. Keeping his left foot on the running board, he continued driving from a standing position while turning his head frequently to observe fire conditions. The flames at the rear end of the tank-truck soon expired, but a trail of gasoline issuing from the hose blazed for a considerable distance behind the truck as it proceeded. Montgomery drove a half a mile on the highway through a thickly settled area to open country and a mile and a half farther. There he stopped the truck momentarily, but flames again enveloped the rear end of its tank, and he drove another mile and a half until all the gasoline in the compartment had been drained and the flames had expired. The fire at the service station was put out with extinguishers shortly after the truck had left it. Montgomery was disabled five days from burns on his legs below the knees.
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