Helen R. Sullivan, 26, hotel telephone-operator, sustained fatal injuries attempting to save one or more persons from burning, Jersey City, New Jersey, December 29, 1937. Fire started at a Christmas tree in the first-floor lobby of a seven-story hotel building; and heat and smoke rose by means of stairways to upper floors, where there were about 20 guests and 15 or more employees. Miss Sullivan from a telephone switchboard in an office adjoining the lobby telephoned to the Fire Department and to an unknown number of guests to inform them of the fire. Much heat was in the office, but whether Miss Sullivan’s clothing was afire before she left her station could not be determined. After all other persons had left the lobby, Miss Sullivan ran across the lobby, which then was in flames, to the outside. She sustained fatal burns and died 19 days later. The fire was confined to the first floor. At least 20 persons descended ladders to ground-level. A boy died from burns received in the accident, and a man and a woman on upper floors were overcome and could not be revived.
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