A Chicago Fireman's Cry for Help Is a Shout of Rage Against Arson
updated 02/04/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/04/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST
Steinmetz quickly climbed a ladder at the back of the four-story building and entered a top-floor apartment where Williams and her 3-year-old daughter, Angel, were trapped. "I found them lying in a doorway, unconscious," he says. "There was so much smoke I couldn't see anything. I couldn't tell if they were alive or not." Steinmetz passed Angel to a fireman on the ladder and moments after this picture was taken, others helped him get Angel's mother out as well.
Tragically, his heroism was in vain: Debra and her daughter did not survive. Four of their neighbors in the building also died. Chicago police have charged two adults and a juvenile with murder and arson in the case. The motive is still undetermined.