Mary M. Rivers, 44, cleaning woman, rescued Daniel L. Zublena, 4, from burning, Youngstown, Ohio, May 15, 1966. Daniel, who had a bronchial condition, was inside a croupette atop a bed in the children’s ward of a hospital. The croupette, a respiratory aid, was four feet long and consisted of a frame over which fitted a canopy of clear plastic material. Oxygen was supplied by a hose. Daniel was playing with a toy gun when sparks from it ignited the oxygen and the plastic canopy. Mrs. Rivers was outside the room and heard Daniel scream. She entered and saw him on the bed amid flames which rose four feet above the croupette and issued a foot from its sides. Mrs. Rivers ran to the bed. Heat was intense. She lowered the side of the bed, reached into the flames, and lifted Daniel from the bed. His foot knocked the burning croupette to the floor. It struck Mrs. Rivers on the leg, and a water container upset. Mrs. Rivers slipped and fell but quickly got to her feet. She carried Daniel from the room, pulling off the remains of his burning pajamas. A nurse relieved Mrs. Rivers of Daniel, who had suffered extensive bums. He died four weeks later. Mrs. Rivers sustained burns which healed.
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