Ronald Redmond Gile saved Donna L. Perkins and Aimee F. and Bert W. Walberg from suffocation, North Bend Oregon, May 3, 1970. Walberg, 59, soft drink distributor, was in the basement of his home when a sudden outbreak of flames blocked the stairway. Unable to open an outside door, he lay on the floor beneath accumulating smoke and sought air through a crack at the bottom of the door. The dense smoke rose through a floor grating and began filling the one-story dwelling where Mrs. Perkins, 38, was in the bedroom attending Mrs. Walberg, 60, recuperating from surgery. Gile, 34, lumbermill worker, was attracted by the smoke and ran to the front of the dwelling, where Mrs. Perkins had broken a bedroom window 14 feet above the ground. Gile found the kitchen door open and, crawling beneath the smoke, made his way to the bedroom. After leading Mrs. Perkins out through dense smoke, Gile reentered the burning house and carried Mrs. Walberg to safety. Learning that Walberg had been in the living room, Gile once more entered the house, again crawling beneath the smoke. He searched the living room, three times returning to the front door for air. Failing to find anyone, he emerged from the dwelling. With great effort, Gile then succeeded in opening the outside basement door. Dense smoke and intense heat engulfed him. Gile’s arms were singed as he took hold of Walberg, who was nearly overcome, and pulled him from the basement. All recovered from effects of the heat and smoke.
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