Larry M. Buffington saved Tammy Jean and Catherine E. Lulei and attempted to save Dorothy G. Lulei from suffocation, New Orleans, Louisiana, August 2, 1963. At night in a frame dwelling a kerosene lamp exploded and ignited the walls of the first-floor bathroom where Tammy Jean, 3, Catherine, 5, and Dorothy, 4, were being bathed by their mother. The mother’s screams attracted Larry, 14, schoolboy, who lived next door. Learning the general location of the girls, Larry ran to the bathroom where in the dense smoke flames intermittently were visible on the walls and ceiling. Heat was intense. Choking from the smoke, Larry moved to the bathtub but found no one in it. He heard Tammy Jean crying and located her between the tub and the wall. After probing further without finding anyone else, he ran into the adjoining kitchen, the ceiling of which had been ignited by flames issuing through the top of the bathroom doorway. Larry carried Tammy Jean to her mother in the parlor. Covering his head with a quilt, he ran into the kitchen and in light from flames overhead saw Catherine. Larry carried her to her mother and, still wrapped in the quilt, returned to the bathroom. As he searched in vain for Dorothy, a section of the ceiling fell on the quilt covering his head. Larry retreated from the bathroom as firemen arrived. They extinguished the flames and recovered the body of Dorothy, who had suffocated. Tammy Jean and Catherine recovered, as did Larry, who had sustained burns to his face and hands and lung inflammation from inhalation of smoke.
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