William L. Nolton rescued Elizabeth M. Sineway from burning, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, March 1, 1961. In the bedroom of a third-floor apartment, Mrs. Sineway, 58, whose leg was in a cast, accidentally set fire to the bedcover, which she pushed onto the carpeted floor and then attempted without success to put out the flames. As the fire spread and created dense smoke, Mrs. Sineway screamed for her husband, who was in another room. He opened the bedroom door, but was driven from the apartment by the hot smoke. Nolton, 26, structural iron worker, who was aware that Mrs. Sineway was incapacitated, ran from his first-floor apartment to the third floor, wearing only trousers. The smoke caused him to choke, and he retreated to the second floor. Mrs. Sineway called for help. Nolton then ascended to a landing between floors, paused at a small window to get a breath of fresh air, and continued to the third floor, holding his breath. Unable to see anything in the dense smoke, Nolton crawled from the top of the stairs toward the bedroom, where flames then burned on the beds, the carpet, and one wall. Forced to release his breath, Nolton inhaled some smoke and again began to cough violently. He reached the doorway and crawled part way into the bedroom, where he probed the dense smoke and touched Mrs. Sineway as she lay on the floor at the foot of the bed. Choking and coughing spasmodically, Nolton dragged Mrs. Sineway with him as he crawled back to the top of the stairs. He then stood erect, lifted Mrs. Sineway over his shoulder, and carried her to the second floor. Nolton was blackened by the smoke, and part of Mrs. Sineway’s nightgown was burned away. Firemen, who required masks to enter the room, extinguished the flames. Mrs. Sineway suffered extensive burns, was hospitalized three months, and recovered.
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