James F. Lancaster, Jr., 30, farmer, saved Baby Girl Austion, 8 months, from burning, Saulston, North Carolina, December 10, 1959. In a one story frame dwelling fire broke out in a chimney between two bedrooms, in one of which Baby Girl was left alone in bed as her sister ran to get help. Lancaster was attracted, ran into the dwelling, and entered the baby’s room, where flames were burning along the wall opposite her bed. Failing to find anyone in the dense smoke, Lancaster then opened the door of the other bedroom, which was almost completely afire, and stepped inside. A sudden explosion of flames blew the door shut and hurled Lancaster against it. He felt the flames against his face and re-opened the door. A second explosion then blew flames against the back of his head, and he left the dwelling. The sister returned with a man and woman and, telling Lancaster the infant’s location, begged him to get her. Although suffering from his burns, Lancaster kicked in the window of the baby’s room from outside the dwelling. He then climbed into the room, where one wall was completely covered by flames while parts of another wall and the floor also were afire. Burning bits of wood fell from the ceiling, and heat was intense. Guided by her cries, Lancaster moved to within five feet of flames and located the infant on a bed. He carried her to the window, handed her to persons outside, and then climbed through the opening. Firemen arrived but were prevented by heat and flames from getting near the dwelling, which burned to the ground. Baby Girl was unharmed. Lancaster suffered burns which healed in a month.
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