Jerry A. Powell rescued L. M. Ferguson, Jr., from burning, Vincent, Ohio, June 13, 1961. When his truck swerved from the highway and ran into a large tree, Ferguson, 34, trucking contractor, was severely injured and lost consciousness. Flames which broke out on the engine spread into the cab and to gasoline leaking from the ruptured outside fuel tank, which contained 40 gallons of gasoline. Another fuel tank, located inside the cab and containing 15 gallons of gasoline, remained intact. Powell, 33, equipment operator, ran 150 feet to the truck, where flames rose three feet above the engine. Other flames burned on the ground under the larger tank and on the outside of the cab at the driver’s side. Powell ran to the opposite side and with difficulty opened the door. Ferguson was slumped partially under the steering wheel. His clothing was not on fire, although flames burned on the door alongside him and under the instrument panel. Kneeling on the running board, Powell reached as far as he could into the cab. Heat was intense. With his hands within two feet of the flames, Powell grasped Ferguson’s arm. He drew Ferguson from beneath the steering wheel and then pulled him from the truck. Flames then rose 10 feet above the ground. Another man helped Powell carry Ferguson farther away as the flames spread throughout the cab and soon rose 25 feet into the air. Within five minutes the inside fuel tank ruptured with a loud noise. The truck was a total loss. Ferguson, who sustained severe burns in addition to injuries from the collision, died within 12 hours.
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