Walter D. Nesseler rescued David W. and Betty J. McClanahan from burning, Andalusia, Illinois, February 3, 1986. McClanahan, 53, and his wife, 58, lay badly burned in the kitchen of their home after a natural gas explosion wracked the house and set It aflame. A neighbor, Nesseler, 59, retired drawbridge operator, heard the explosion and ran to the house, where he was thwarted from entering the living room by a wall of flames. Hearing screams, Nesseler opened the door of an attached garage and crawled through dense smoke to the house’s kitchen door. In the intense heat of the kitchen, which was aflame, Nesseler located McClanahan and dragged him into the garage, where he was aided by another man In removing McClanahan outside. Nesseler re-entered the garage and went back to the kitchen, where he found Mrs. McClanahan further inside. He removed her through the garage. Mr. and Mrs. McClanahan were hospitalized; Mrs. McClanahan died four days later, and McClanahan, nine days later, from their burns. Nesseler was treated for smoke inhalation, and he recovered.
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