Joseph D. Asbill, 37, traveling salesman, saved Voight E. Wessinger, 74, from suffocation, Leesville, South Carolina, June 4, 1968. When a gas heater exploded in the utility room of a one-story dwelling, material in the room caught fire and created dense acrid smoke which spread through the house. Wessinger, whose mobility was affected as a result of a stroke, went to the kitchen but could not make his way to the rear door. Asbill was attracted and learned that Wessinger was inside the dwelling. Holding his breath, he crawled into the living room, but the smoke forced him to return to the outside. He then ran to the rear of the dwelling and entered an enclosed porch, where flames had broken through from the utility room. Asbill opened the door to the kitchen. Heat was intense, and the smoke was so dense that he could see nothing except the glow of flames. Covering his nose and mouth, Asbill entered the kitchen and by probing located Wessinger about eight feet from the door, They passed within three feet of the flames as Asbill with difficulty moved Wessinger onto the porch and thence to the rear yard.
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