Ruffin B. McLennan, 28, salesman, helped to save Jordan A. Sherzer, 36, clothing stylist, from burning, Durham, North Carolina, March 25, 1965. When his four-door sedan veered from the highway and struck the abutment of a railroad overpass, Sherzer was seriously injured and lost consciousness. Gasoline from a ruptured fuel line flowed onto the engine and caught fire. McLennan ran to the burning sedan, as did Neville H. Bennett. Flames then rose above the sedan’s front end, which was badly damaged. McLennan opened the door on the driver’s side. He and Bennett grasped Sherzer but could not pull him loose because his foot was caught under the seat. McLennan ran around to the door on the other side of the sedan and tried in vain to open it or break the glass. He then returned to the open door, passing within two feet of the spreading flames. Shezer’s trousers had caught fire, and McLennan beat out the flames. Bennett reached into the front seat section and tried to pull Sherzer’s pinned foot free but was unable to do so. Heat was intense as flames began issuing through holes in the floorboards. McLennan extended his upper body, into the front seat section and with his shoulder forced the seat backward, freeing Sherzer’s foot. McLennan and Bennett removed Sherzer and carried him from the sedan. Firemen extinguished the flames on the automobile, which was a total loss. Sherzer died of his injuries.
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