Northern Indiana firefighter dies at business fire

(WISH Photo, file/Marcus Collins)
(WISH Photo, file/Marcus Collins)

NEW CARLISLE, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say a firefighter was killed and others hurt when a roof collapsed on them as they battled a large blaze at a northern Indiana business.

The LaPorte County coroner says 41-year-old New Carlisle Assistant Fire Chief Jamie Middlebrook was killed while he and other firefighters were setting up a hose inside the building Tuesday night.

Coroner John Sullivan says other firefighters were hurt in the sudden collapse, with one being taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Sullivan says Middlebrook’s father is also a New Carlisle firefighter and was at the scene when his son was trapped inside.

Sullivan says state and federal investigators are working to determine what caused the blaze that destroyed the K-Fex Excavating and Trucking building about 15 miles west of South Bend.

Governor Mike Pence released the following statement Wednesday morning:

I was saddened to learn of the death of New Carlisle Assistant Fire Chief Jamie Middlebrook, who lost his life protecting the safety of Hoosiers. Today, Indiana mourns the loss of a true Hoosier hero. On behalf of the state, the First Lady and I extend our condolences to his family and friends and hold them in prayer during this difficult time.

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