John A. Freitas died after saving Mildred Costa from burning, Fairhaven, Massachusetts, June 18, 1978. At night, fire broke out in the first-floor apartment in a frame building where Mrs. Costa, 38, was asleep in her apartment on the second floor. Freitas, 27, fish cutter, was attracted by the spreading flames and ran to the burning building. He pounded on the door of Mrs. Costa’s apartment, awakening her and telling her to leave via a window. Freitas said he was going to the third floor. Mrs. Costa escaped by way of a window; and firemen later found the body of Freitas on the third-floor stairs, where he had died of asphyxiation.
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