Wildfire hero: Pulaski story, 1912
RANGER REAL Fire Fighters Face Great Dangers in Forest. How Pulaski, by Coolness and Bravery, Prevented the Loss of Thirty. Five of His Crew In Cour d'AIene. New York. Prof. Welling, tanned and toughened by his summer's work in the Coeur d'AIene national forest reservation, held his eastern visitors spellbound with stories of the fight he had helped to make against the fearful forest fires, says the Youth's Companion. He had gone out, with two others, under government commission, to study the forest and, coming back in August, they had met the fires and spent almost a month in fighting their way out of them. "There are real men among those forest rangers," he went on. "In fact, there is no place for anything that is not genuine up there. The most thrilling story of heroism that I have heard in a long time is he story of Ranger Pulaski. It did not happen in the part of the reservation where I was, but I can vouch for its truth, for I have talked with some of the men who were with him. "Pulaski had forty men under him, and they had been fighting a big fire for hours. Suddenly the wind rose until it blew a gale. The fire got beyond them, and it became a question of saving the lives of the men. They were many miles from a railroad or a clearing. "Pulaski remembered that about a mile from where they were working was an abandoned mine shaft that ran back about forty feet into the hillside. He ordered the men to snatch their blankets from the camp and run for this shaft. Once there, they packed themselves like sardines into the hole. Pulaski placed himself at the opening and stretched a blanket across it. "In a few minutes the fire overtook them. The blanket at the opening caught and Pulaski- jerked it away. Again and again this was done, and when the supply of blankets ran low he held the burning fragments across the mouth of the shaft with his bare hands. "The suffering of the men from the heat and smoke was pitiful. They were fairly maddened by it, H and some of them made a wild attempt to push their way out of the shaft. For a while Pulaski held th,em back by sheer physical strength, for he was an unusually strong man. But he knew that he must soon be overpowered and that the men, in their frenzy, would rush out to certain death. He drew his revolver and told them that he would kill the first man who attempted to break away. The men knew that he meant it, too, and that knowledge brought them back to reason. j "It wasn't more than twenty minutes before the worst of the fire had passed the shaft. When it was safe to crawl out they found that five of the men were dead from suffocation, but the other thirty-five were all right. Pulaski himself was blinded and burned, but Ills sight was partly restored. He lost five men, to be sure, but with less courage and presence of mind he would have lost them all. I take off my hat to such a man. He is a real hero." PIANO IN WRECK SAVES LIFE Forms a Barrier That Fences Man In It at Time of Crash of Trains. Sheridan, Wyo. ili3 piano fencing him into a small open space in his car of household goods was all that saved J. S. Doyle of McCook, Neb., from being crushed to death when a Burlington train in which he was on his way home crashed into some empty cars north of Sheridan. One of the seven horses In the car was killed. Doyle was badly bruised and cut, but after his injuries were dressed in the Sheridan hospital he was able to continue his journey to McCook.