Virgil Calvin Lacey rescued Casey B. Felger from burning, Stanton, California, January 24, 1966. In a ground-floor apartment of a two-story frame and stucco building, fire broke out in a bedroom where Casey, 1, was asleep in his crib. His mother ran outside with her 2-year-old daughter, left the girl at an enclosed stairway to the second floor, and then called for help from Lacey, 41, telephone cable splicer, who was working nearby. Lacey saw smoke issuing from the apartment’s only outside door and ran to it. Thinking that both of the mother’s two children were inside, he entered the apartment. Smoke was dense. Guided by Casey’s screams, Lacey moved through rooms of the apartment, bumping into a table and noting flames on the floor in front of the kitchen range. He briefly blundered into the bathroom before reaching the bedroom where Casey’s crib was afire at one end. Casey, who had sustained burns, had crawled to the other end of the crib. Other flames were burning on one end of a nearby bed. Lacey lifted Casey from the crib and, nauseated by the smoke, carried him outside. Meanwhile the mother had taken her daughter to a second-floor apartment and had notified firemen. Lacey, coughing badly, placed Casey on the lawn, called to a neighbor to look after him, and then returned to the bedroom to look for the little girl. Flames and smoke had increased. After checking the surface of the bed, Lacey then probed beneath it with his feet. He found no one. Choking and nauseated by the smoke, Lacey left the apartment and rested briefly. He then obtained a fire extinguishers reentered the apartment, and put out the flames in the kitchen and bedroom. Again nauseated, Lacey ran outside. He learned from a neighbor that the little girl was safe. Casey was removed to a hospital, where he recovered from his burns.
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