Friday, December 21, 1979
West Frankfort fire kills man, injures 2
By Cathy Saxenmeyer
Of The Southern Illinoisan
Fire killed one West Frankfort man and critically injured a young couple before they handed their baby to safety through the smoke and flames that swept their apartment building late Thursday.
Fred Webb, 78, was found dead in the bedroom of his burned apartment in the northeast corner of the building, where firefighters believe the fire broke out.
Rick and Rosalie Wininger, both 19, were flown by trauma helicopter to the burn unit at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, where they are on respirators and listed in critical condition.
A spokesman there said wininger suffered burns to 54 percent of his body, while his wife suffered burns to 58 percent. Both also sustained inhalation burns, he said.
Their 18-month-old daughter Shannon was rescued unharmed by West Frankfort Police Officer Ronald Gass. Shanon is in the care of her father's parents.
Also injured was Firefighter Richard "Flip" Minton, who was overcome by smoke and exhaustion after carrying the unconscious wininger down a ladder from the flaming apartment. minton is listed in satisfactory condition at Union Hospital in West Frankfort today.
Flames were already leaping from the four second-story windows of the old two-story brick Mosley Apartment Building, owned by R.H. Moseley, on the 100 block of North Ida Street when the first fire truck arrived about 10:40 p.m., according to a fire department spokesman.
"The fire had a good 20-minute start os [sic] us," he said. "It was just one of those things where everybody else assumed somebody else had called us." The fire was only two blocks from the station.
As the first truck arrived, the plate glass windows on the first-floor storefronts blew out from the pressure of the heat, the spokesman said.
The Winingers were in their window, screaming for help, he said, but the smoke was so thick they couldn't be seen from the ground.
Minton, wearing self-contained breathing apparatus, climbed a ground ladder to rescue Mrs. Wininger first and then was assisted in rescuing her husband, the spokesman said.
The department's snorkel couldn't be raised because of overhead electrical wires, the spokesman said.
The entire second floor of the building was virtually destroyed, he said, and the first floor had heavy water damage. Another one-story frame professional building, owned by John Vincent, was also reported damaged by the fire.
None of the other occupants of the nine-unit building was injured, the spokesman said.
The cause of the fire has not been determined and a damage estimated was not available.
Friday, December 21, 1979
Funeral arrangements are incomplete at the Parker-Reedy Funeral Home in West Frankfort for Fred Webb, 78, of 108 N. Ida, West Fraknfort, who died Thursday, Dec. 20, 1979, as the result of a fire at his residence.
Sunday, December 23, 1979
Services held for fire victim
Private graveside services were held Saturday at Maplewood Cemetery in marion for Fred Webb, who died in a fire at the Mosley Apartment Building at 108 N. Ida St., West Frankfort, Thursday, Dec. 20, 1979.
Mr. Webb, 78, a retired coal miner, was born in May, 1901, in Johnson county, to Frank and Mary Webb.
Survivors include a daughter, Juliatte Moore of Herrin; three sons, Fred S. of Cody [sic] Wyo., Jim of Sacramento, Calif., and Pat of Boise, Idaho; 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.