Leo J. Karsten helped to save Freda Anderson from suffocation, Ely, Minnesota, January 15, 1969. When fire broke out in her second-floor bedroom, Mrs. Anderson, 82, was overcome by smoke. Her daughter attempted to go to her aid but was prevented from doing so by the smoke and flames. When Karsten, 42, telephone repairman, arrived, two other men already had tried to get to the bedroom but had been greatly affected by the smoke and returned to the first floor. The two men each put a wet towel over his head and went back up the stairs. Karsten followed. All inhaled smoke and, coughing violently, retreated to the first floor for air. Karsten then also put a wet towel over his head and, with the other two men, ascended to the second floor and began crawling toward the bedroom. One man crawled into the room, located Mrs. Anderson on the floor, and dragged her to the door. His companion was there and pulled Mrs. Anderson into the hall as the man returned to the first floor. In dense smoke in the upstairs hall, Karsten and the other man dragged Mrs. Anderson to the stairway. Choking and nauseated from the smoke, they then carried her down the stairs. Mrs. Anderson was hospitalized for smoke inhalation. She recovered.
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