The headline of the Dayton Daily News article said, "Baby Girl Saved from Fiery Home" with the sub-headline "One fireman injured when trapped by flames in North Dayton Apartment." There were two photographs, one was of my Uncle, Floyd Crago. The story went on to say, " A baby girl was snatched yesterday from a smoke-filled second story bedroom of a North Dayton apartment during a frantic search by firemen in which one was momentarily trapped by flames and injured while escaping. Lt. Floyd Crago was released from Grandview Hospital after being treated for a back injury. District Chief Dale O'Neal said Lt. Crago was the first man to enter the burning apartment after it was learned a baby was inside. He was injured when he was trapped by flames and broke a window to escape. "I was feeling around on the beds and the floors in the bedroom looking for the baby. The smoke was so think you couldn't see a anthing." Crago said."
I found the article when I started searching through anything I could find around my mom's house in order to find interesting things to scan for my family history notebooks. I had never seen the article before, but I knew that Uncle Floyd was a fireman and I wasn't surprised that he was a hero.
He was married to my mother's sister, Jeanne. When I was little, I was scared to death of him. Well over 6 feet tall, with a booming voice and a gruff manner, he used to love giving us kids a hard time. He had a habit of making nicknames for us and sometimes it hurt my feelings! I didn't have an appreciation for Uncle Floyd until much later on in my life. When my father was dying of pancreatic cancer, Uncle Floyd came with my Aunt from Florida to be with my mother. He stayed with us at the hospital, always keeping a eye on things for my dad. After dad passed away, Uncle Floyd amazed me. Once we were back at home, he took control of all the little things that we were too dazed to even think about. People began dropping food and drinks off at the house and he grabbed paper and pencil to write down who was bringing what. He was very protective of my mother and made sure that she had whatever she might need. For the first time, I was able to get to know my uncle and I knew what made him so good at his job. Beneath his gruff exterior, was a man full of compassion and understanding for people who were hurting. He wasn't big physical displays of affection, but he was showing his love for my mother and for our family by stepping in to help in any way that he could.
He had retired from the Dayton Fire Department as a Captain. He and my aunt have two sons, one who followed his father into the fire department as well.
When Uncle Floyd passed away, there was an honor guard from the department by his casket for the visitation and the funeral. My aunt followed him to heaven a few years later. I miss them both very much. One of my favorite memories of Uncle Floyd is one of him sitting in our big old easy chair in his robe and slippers watching "Home Alone" and laughing out loud. It's a sound I will cherish forever.
Just a side note: I received a note from Uncle Floyd's son who told me that the child that was saved from the fire was the daughter of Larry Flynt, the man who became the publisher of Hustler Magazine.