Walter Bryan Martin helped to rescue Eleanor W. Negley from a collapsing building, Newville, Pennsylvania, July 24, 1962. When Mrs. Negley, 49, and her husband went to the basement of their frame dwelling and attempted to relight a gas water heater, an explosion occurred which caused the front wall of the building to buckle outward from the two floors. Badly burned, Mrs. Negley and her husband reached the living room, where the former fell to the floor amid the rubble. Her husband made his way outside and called for help. Martin, 64, bus driver, ran to him and learned that Mrs. Negley still was inside the dwelling. The buckled wall was swaying and the edge of the second floor was moving up and down. Martin entered the living room through a three-foot opening where the wall had pulled away and made his way 10 feet over the debris to Mrs. Negley, guided by her groans. Plaster continued to fall, and the dust obstructed breathing as well as vision. Martin attempted to lift Mrs. Negley but was unable to do so because of her size. Meanwhile Harry Luther Schoff had run 400 feet to the scene, heard the husband calling for someone to get his wife, and entered the dwelling through the opening between the walls. He made his way through the rubble and falling plaster to Mrs. Negley and Martin, breathing heavily and inhaling plaster dust which made him cough. Flames from the basement appeared in the living room as, with the wall still swaying, Shoff and Martin each obtained a hold on Mrs. Negley. Together they moved her to the wall opening and thence from the building. Firemen knocked down the swaying wall and extinguished the flames. Mrs. Negley and her husband later succumbed to their burns.
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