Kevin J. Crowley, Sr., saved David A. and Sharon M. Hart, and attempted to save Bryan P. Hart from suffocation, Chicago, Illinois, January 27, 1965. Fire broke out in a bedroom in the second-floor apartment of a two-story frame dwelling where the five Hart children were unattended. The two oldest boys, aged 6 and 8, ran downstairs and reported the fire to Crowley, 24, dairy office employee, who was ill with a severe cold. Clad only in pajamas, Crowley ascended the stairway to the second- floor hall and, despite dense smoke, found David, 3, and Sharon, 4, in the living room doorway. He carried them from the dwelling and immediately returned to the second floor, where flames had spread into the hall. Smoke and heat had increased, and Crowley had difficulty breathing. He got to his knees and crawled past the doorway of the living room, into which flames also had spread. Passing within three feet of flames in the hall, Crowley crawled into the dining room, where smoke was very dense and heat was intense. He heard Bryan, 2, coughing and located him in his crib. Holding Bryan, Crowley began crawling toward the stairway but became confused and entered another bedroom. He was having increasing difficulty in breathing. Still holding Bryan, Crowley crawled to a window and broke the glass but decided not to risk jumping to the ground. He crawled back into the dining room with Bryan and then lost consciousness. Firemen arrived and extinguished the flames. They entered the apartment, found Crowley and Bryan, and rushed them to a hospital. Bryan was pronounced dead of suffocation. Crowley recovered from lung irritation caused by smoke he had inhaled, and he sustained burns which healed in six weeks.
47725 – 499347725-4993