TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A monument to a young soldier who died in 1898 after rescuing children and workers from a fire at a western Indiana department store where he was portraying Santa Claus will be refurbished and moved next year to the site of the fire.
The Tribune-Star reports that Claude Herbert, a 19-year-old U.S. Army soldier, was two days into a job portraying Santa Claus at Terre Haute’s Havens & Geddes department store when the fire started on Dec. 19, 1898.
While still in costume as Santa Claus, Herbert saved more than 30 children, as well as store workers, but he died after reentering the building, mistakenly believing other workers were still inside.
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