“LaPorte County, Ind.Â The firefighter who died in a massive business fire in LaPorte County Tuesday night, has been identified as Asst. Chief Jamie Middlebrook. Middlebrook was a volunteer firefighter with the New Carlisle Fire Department.
“We regret to advise you of the Line of Duty Death of New Carlisle (LaPorte County) Assistant Fire
Chief Jamie Middlebrook.
Late last night, area fire companies (not far from South Bend, IN on US 20) responded to a commercial building fire. At some point, as Chief Middlebrook and another Firefighter were setting up a portable ground monitor within a section of the structure, and while inside, there as a catastrophic collapse of the building..
One Firefighter was rescued from the fire and taken to a local hospital (treated and released with a leg fracture) however Chief Middlebrook could not be saved. The fire occurred at K-Fex, a septic pumping business. There are reports that there had been explosions at the fire prior to the collapse.Â
Chief Middlebrook was a career EMT for New Carlisle EMS. He leaves behind his wife, Julie and his Father Robert-who is a 40 years member and past Chief of the department.Â
Our condolences to the family of Chief Middlebrook as well as the members and friends of the department, Jamie was a friend of the crew here atÂ www.FireFighterCloseCalls.comÂ . RIP.
We will have much more on this tragic loss later.
WSBT TV Reports:
LATEST UPDATE: Officials have given the OK to release the name of the New Carlisle firefighter killed last night on duty — Asst. Chief Jamie Middlebrook.
His father is a veteran firefighter and was also there fighting the fire, we’re told.
Another firefighter was injured — but his injuries are not life-threatening.
EARLIER UPDATE: The LaPorte County sheriff tells us the body of the fallen New Carlisle firefighter is being recovered from the scene right now.
The coroner, fire marshal and detectives are on scene. The body will be brought out soon, draped with an American flag and taken to the morgue with a police escort.
ORIGINAL POST fromÂ James Fillmore WSBT: A New Carlisle firefighter is presumed dead at the scene of a large business fire not far from the St. Joseph / LaPorte County line, according to the LaPorte County sheriff. Another is injured and in the hospital.
The fire broke out sometime around 9 p.m. at K-Fex, an excavation business at 5885 North and 800 East.
A dozen fire trucks were counted at the scene from multiple departments in the area. The blaze was huge and intense. At certain points the WSBT crew heard explosions.
LaPorte County Sheriff Michael Mollenhauer tells us one New Carlisle firefighter was pulled out after the roof partially collapsed, but they couldn’t find the other firefighter — also with the New Carlisle Fire Department — in that collapse. He is the one presumed dead.
The search is ongoing.
No names have been released, but we’re told the wife of the firefighter has been notified.
At one point tonight our reporter says he saw all the firefighters on scene pause and somberly remove their helmets.