Kelly V. Anderson attempted to rescue Estella Wiechert from burning, O’Fallon, Illinois, April 30, 1964. At night, fire broke out in the enclosed stairway leading to the apartment of Miss Wiechert, 70, and her brother on the second floor of a frame building. The brother ran to the kitchen and descended the burning stairway. Finding that Miss Wiechert had not followed him, he shouted for help and ran to the rear of the building, where an open stairway led to the locked door of a storage room adjoining the kitchen. A man was attracted, and they tried without success to kick open the door. Anderson, 21, roofer, emerged from the adjoining apartment with a pail of water and ascended to the storage room door. He forced the door open, pushing aside boxes of newspapers. The kitchen window broke, and flames issued through the opening. Ignoring warnings not to enter the apartment, Anderson wrapped a wet towel about his head and moved eight feet into the storage room, carrying the pail. Heat was intense, and he dimly could see that flames filled most of the kitchen. He threw the water onto the flames and as the smoke cleared slightly saw Miss Wiechert on the floor. Anderson moved three feet into the kitchen to within a foot of the flames and took hold of her. She was unconscious, and most of her clothing had been burned away. Breathing with difficulty, Anderson dragged Miss Wiechert into the storage room. Flames were spreading in that room as Anderson, coughing on smoke he had inhaled, dragged her from the building. Firemen arrived and extinguished the flames. Miss Wiechert was removed to a hospital but was pronounced dead of smoke inhalation and extensive burns.
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