Robert D. Stewart rescued Joseph M. Kidd and two other men and attempted to rescue Sherrod L. Kidd, and Albert H. Cherry from burning, Spur, Texas, January 6, 1962. While Kidd, 50, farmer, and his son Sherrod, 12, were in a service station with Cherry, 57, service station proprietor, W. Cecil Caplinger, Thurman A. Morrow, and a 16-year- old youth, an explosion of undetermined cause completely demolished the building which had several underground fuel tanks under and near it. All six persons were injured and buried beneath the rubble, on which flames broke out. The youth climbed out unaided. Stewart, 29, rancher, was attracted and by removing boards made a three-foot opening in the debris pile. Seeing Kidd just inside, Stewart reached into the debris and pulled him out. As flames a foot high burned at places on the rubble, Stewart enlarged the opening and then stepped through it into a small space beneath the debris. Crouching, he cleared his way four feet to Caplinger, whose clothing was afire. Stewart dragged Caplinger from the debris and extinguished the flames on his clothing with the aid of another man. Re-entering the debris, Stewart removed burning boards and, after leaving briefly to get fresh air, cleared a path to Morrow, most of whose clothing had burned away. Flames burned above him. Noting Sherrod two feet away, Stewart reached and grasped the boy, but he was pinned tightly beneath a section of the roof. A minor explosion occurred, spreading the flames. Grasping Morrow, Stewart dragged him from the debris. Stewart inhaled deeply and again moved back into the rubble, using his arm is a shield against the heat and hot smoke. He cleared a path to Sherrod, who then was enveloped by flames. Stewart was forced to leave the debris pile. After another deep breath, he again stepped back into the rubble. Crouching and removing burning boards, he cleared a path in another direction and reached Cherry, who was pinned beneath a filing cabinet. At that time a second minor explosion occurred and sent flames to within inches of Stewart. Nearly overcome by the heat, he left the debris pile. Flames by then were about seven feet high. From another point outside the rubble, Stewart cleared a path to Cherry and took hold of him. At Stewart’s call two men removed the cabinet. A gust of flames suddenly engulfed Cherry, forcing Stewart and the men to retreat. Flames became 10 to 15 feet high over much of the debris. Firemen arrived, but most of the rubble had been consumed by the time the flames were extinguished. The bodies of Cherry and Sherrod were found in the ruins. Kidd and CapIinger survived their injuries and burns, but Morrow died eight days later. Stewart suffered from smoke inhalation and burns but recovered.
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