Robert S. Lynskey saved James C. Ford from suffocation, Wichita, Kansas, November 17, 1964. When fire broke out in the living room of a one-story brick and frame dwelling in which James, 1, was asleep in his crib in a bedroom, dense smoke quickly filled the rooms. James was overcome, as was his mother who collapsed on the floor of the hall. Her 2-year-old daughter lay on the bedroom floor. Lynskey, 38, trash remover, saw the smoke and, after failing to rouse anyone, ran to the house next door, where he learned there were three persons in the burning dwelling. Lynskey returned to the front door and entered the living room. Unable to see in the dense smoke, he moved eight feet along the wall and then could feel the heat of the flames. Coughing and with his eyes watering, he dropped to the floor but barely was able to breathe. He crawled out of the dwelling and ran to a window of the bedroom which adjoined the one James occupied. After removing the screen, Lynskey climbed into the bedroom and dropped to his knees in the dense smoke. He crawled 10 feet, guided by sounds of moaning and crying, but then was unable to breathe. Returning to the window, Lynskey climbed out and gave his jacket to a woman. While she soaked the jacket in a puddle of rainwater, Lynskey removed the screen from a window of the other bedroom. With the wet jacket over his head, he climbed into the smoke-filled room and crawled eight feet toward the crying sounds. He was unable to see or breathe. As he returned to the window, he touched the crib. After thrusting his head outside briefly for air, he removed James from the crib and handed him to the woman. Lynskey drew back into the room but heard firemen arriving and climbed out, still coughing and feeling somewhat dazed. The firemen removed the mother and her daughter and extinguished the flames. James, his mother, and his sister were hospitalized four weeks as a result of smoke inhalation. All recovered.
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