Rose Ellen Doane, 34, restaurant hostess, died helping to save an indeterminate number of persons from burning, Montgomery, Alabama, February 7, 1967. About 75 guests and staff members were in a restaurant atop a 10-story apartment building when fire broke out in the cloak- room. Mrs. Doane telephoned the fire department. Jesse Williams, a chef, emptied the contents of a fire extinguisher on the flames, but they continued to spread. Smoke reached the dining room, and some persons left by using the two automatic elevators near the passage leading to the cloakroom. Mrs. Doane urged the guests to be calm and stated that firemen were on the way. Williams went into a stairwell and opened the door into the passage, which was blocked by flames. Running down the stairs to the floor below, Williams rang for the elevator and then ascended in it to the restaurant. By then some windows had been broken, and a number of persons had climbed out onto the apartment building roof, which extended beyond the restaurant. Miss Carolyn Brock and others entered the elevator with Williams, who took them to the lobby. He then returned to the restaurant. With another load of passengers, Williams descended. Meanwhile Mrs. Doane guided people toward the elevators as smoke increased in the dining room. A waiter called to her to leave by way of the stairwell, but she ignored him and kept directing the guests. Although one of the passengers in the elevator urged Williams to leave with them, he remained in the elevator. Three firemen entered the elevator before it ascended. The firemen got out at the tenth floor. Williams remained in the car, which rose to the restaurant. The doors would not open, and through the crack between them Williams could see flames. By then the elevator was inoperable. Three other firemen in the adjoining elevator experienced the same problem and climbed onto the top of the car by way of an escape hatch in the ceiling. They heard Williams calling and shouted to him to use the hatch, which he did with their help. Williams and the firemen grasped the cables behind the elevators and slid down them to the basement. The flames spread through the restaurant. Mrs. Doane and 24 other persons perished in the fire. Those who had made their way onto the roof surrounding the restaurant survived.
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