Jesse Coleman, 31, cupola tender’s helper, rescued John E. Sharp, 52, master mechanic, from burning, Gadsden, Alabama, October 22, 1952. Sharp stood five feet above the floor of a foundry on a platform two feet square which adjoined a cupola furnace containing a charge of 5,500 pounds of white hot molten iron. As others worked at a partially clogged opening of the furnace through which the iron flowed into a trough seven feet above the floor, the charge suddenly erupted and issued from the furnace in spurts that showered Sharp and ignited his clothing. Iron spilling on the floor formed large puddles over an area extending four feet from the furnace beneath Sharp, some of the molten metal splashing upward onto his feet. The workmen ran clear of the furnace. Coleman ascended a ladder to another furnace platform, which was opposite Sharp, and stood three feet from the opening. Reaching across the trough which contained molten iron four inches deep, Coleman took hold of Sharp, whose clothing was afire from his shoulders to his knees, drew him over the trough out of the path of the spurting iron, and carried him down the ladder to the ground. Others extinguished the fire in Sharp’s clothing. He was burned severely and died the following day. Coleman sustained second-degree burns of the hand and forearm which healed in 10 days.
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