July 8, 1948


One person narrowly escaped serious injury or death and two rooms of a third floor apartment were gutted in a fire Monday morning at 11th and Iowa streets—Mrs. Toma told Fire Chief Thomas C. Hickson that she was awakened shortly after 5 a. m. Monday by smoke and heat that seemed to come from the living room of her four-room flat.

She immediately made her exit through her bedroom window which opened onto a fire escape—but not before her hair was singed and her nightgown caught on fire—She ripped the flaming garment off her body— she said— and waited on the escape until firemen rescued her.

Many is the rookie who was mesmerized by the tale of this rescue. Firemen rushing with ladders, falling over each other, in a rush to rescue this fair damsel in distress. I learned of this rescue from Captain William “Phil” Badger. Assistant Chief Kemps and Chief Kemps driver, FEO Jack Lepsch, confirmed the story. ~ The Author