This article was submitted by Pam Steinbruecker, wife of Kingsley Steinbruecker. It first appeared in the Clearwater Tribune in 1956.
If the Orofino Fire Department sponsored a junior fireman’s badge or other similar merit award, thirteen-year-old Kingsley Steinbruecker might well be in line for decoration. For when the fire broke out last Wednesday in the Luke Steinbruecker home, the eighth grader’s quick thinking, prevented serious damage.
Credit should also go to his younger brother, Mike, who discovered the blaze. When Mike found the 100 lb. sack of potatoes stored in the Steinbruecker basement on fire, he scurried upstairs and outside, excited and crying, said Mrs. Steinbruecker, “I caught up with him out in the driveway and learned of the fire,” she continued.
While Mrs. Steinhbruecker phoned the fire department, Kingsley went to the basement by himself and began to put out the spontaneous-combustion ignited fire.
With his hands he loosened wrench-tightened washing machine hose, faucet connections. Then with a bucket he started carrying water to pour on the flames.
Meanwhile his mother came to help and together they were able to extinguish the blaze before firemen arrived.
Damage was confined to the potatoes, a pair of nearby overshoes, a scorched dresser and blackened building timbers. Some smoke filtered upstairs, Mrs. Steinbruecker said, but it was quickly aired out.
“I am certainly thankful for a level-headed son,” she concluded.