41-year-old Jamie Middlebrook died while he and other firefighters were setting up a hose inside the building Tuesday night. Middlebrook's father is also a New Carlisle firefighter and was at the scene when his son was trapped inside. The county coroner says other firefighters were hurt in the sudden collapse, with one being taken to a hospital, having suffered a broken ankle, minor burns and smoke inhalation. Now, state and federal investigators are working to determine what caused the blaze that destroyed the building at K-Fex Excavating and Trucking. As many as 50 firefighters were called to battle the flames. At least two explosions occurred while crews were on scene last night.
Tragic news as a member with the New Carlisle Fire Department has lost his life in a raging fire at a septic company near the LaPorte-St. Joseph County line. The body of the fallen firefighter was recovered from the scene of the K-Fex fire around 1:30 eastern time this morning, hours after the blaze began. Fellow firefighters, stood watch, with helmets in hand, as the body was removed from the scene at US 20 and 800 East. Multiple departments were called to the scene, Tuesday night, as the fire grew in intensity. At least two big explosions were heard. Another firefighter was injured, and pulled from the burning structure after the roof collapsed. That crew member was taken to the hospital. None of the employees from K-Fex were in the building at the time.