Marvin Henderson Gilmore, 28, automobile mechanic, saved Jeffery M., 5, Geneva R., 3, Loretta M., 2, and Belinda W. Woods, 1, from suffocation, Camden, New Jersey, February 20, 1957. Fire broke out beneath the stairway in a brick dwelling; and smoke began to fill the second floor, where Jeffery, Geneva, Loretta, and Belinda were alone. Jeffery and Geneva partially opened one of two windows at the front of the building, and the smoke attracted a crowd. After four men tried to enter the front door but were driven back by flames on the stairway, Gilmore climbed 15 feet up a telephone wire attached to the front wall. He reached the unopened window of the bedroom, where he clung to the ledge and broke the glass by butting it with his head, cutting his ear and face. He climbed into the room, which was filled with dense and acrid smoke, and felt his way along the wall to Jeffery and Geneva. He opened the window fully and dropped each child to persons on the sidewalk below. By then flames had spread to the downstairs ceilings, and the intensity of the heat increased on the second floor. Hearing cries nearby, Gilmore moved eight feet from the window with his cap over his face and located Loretta. As he lowered her through the window, he heard a muffled cry from another room. Although those outside warned him to leave the building, he crawled 20 feet along the floor with difficulty, moving into another bedroom, where he found Belinda. He crawled back to the window and dropped her to others. Intending to leave as he had entered, Gilmore moved to the broken window and descended two electric conduits to the street instead. Firemen arrived and extinguished the flames in 90 minutes. The children escaped injury. Gilmore was tired and nervous and received treatment for smoke inhalation and head lacerations. He recovered.
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