When an explosion in the X-ray room of San Francisco's University of California Hospital started a chimney-like blaze, disaster was averted by Juanita Costenborder, night-duty telephone operator. Hearing the tell-tale crackle of flames, she spread the alarm, then called the Fire Department. When Casabianca Costenborder finally decided to leave her post she found her escape cut off by the fire, so she jumped 40 feet to the ground, injured only an ankle.

Efficient in the crisis, nurses wept when it was over. Estimated damage: $250,000.


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