William R. Pugh attempted to rescue Lance G. and Sean E. Cool from burning, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 22, 1972. Lance, 2, and Sean, 3, were in the basement of their home when fire broke out there. Their mother ran to the basement, saw only Lance, and attempted to remove him by way of a connecting garage; but he ran to another part of the basement, which by then was filled with dense smoke. The mother ran outside and called for help. Pugh, 47, U. S. Navy administrative officer, entered the burning basement, unaware that another man already had done so. An explosion, believed to have been a television set, occurred in the basement. While Pugh was searching, the other man found Lance. Increasing heat and smoke forced both men to leave. Pugh and the other man then reentered the basement, but worsening conditions drove them out. Firemen arrived and, wearing masks, removed Sean, who was dead. Lance died later of extensive burns.
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