Decatur dispatcher perishes in fire
Duane (Dean) Ingmire, 59, a 16-year reserve officer and a 14-year dispatcher with the Decatur City Police Department, perished in a fire at his residence located at 217 West Roeville Rd., Decatur on Tuesday morning.
Adams County Sheriff Shane Rekeweg said that at approximately 8:36 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the Adams County Sheriff's E-911 center received a call from a neighbor who reported smoke from the residence on Roeville Road. Decatur Fire Department, EMS and Adams County deputies were sent to the scene.
"The fire was contained within the inside of the structure with only smoke visible to arriving units," said Rekeweg. "Decatur Fire Department was able to compress the fire and was able to enter the structure where they discovered a body inside the structure."
Decatur Fire Chief Les Marckel said that when his firefighters arrived at the scene, puffing smoke was starting to emerge from the eaves and roof. The chief said that the fire had burned quite a while on the inside before it started to emerge.
"Within 10 or 15 minutes after arriving, the fire was under control," said Marckel. "We only used a minimal amount of water. We made a preliminary search and didn't find anything. But when we made a second search, we found Dean. It was tough; when you know someone personally like we knew him, he wasn't a victim anymore. It was hard for us."
Marckel noted that the Decatur department had mutual help from the Preble tankers and Hoagland engine and tanker.
"After we found out that we had a victim, we didn't know what else might occur. We kept the Hoagland crew there just in case. You never know how much you might need them," stated Marckel.
Marckel reported that there were a total of 25 firemen on the scene. The chief noted that while an investigation is going on to determine the cause of the fire and Ingmire's death, it was evident that the heaviest fire activity had occurred in the basement and in the living room area.
Decatur Police Chief Kenneth Ketzler referred to Ingmire's passing as a, "tough way to start the new year."
"For 16 years he was a reserve and 14 years he was full-time dispatcher," said Ketzler. "In 2009, I promoted him to captain. He was a very good worker and liked by many of those around him."
Ketzler said that Ingmire had attended the law academy in Fort Wayne where he had become certified in firearms, defensive tactics and pepper spray.
"He was a state certified instructor in those courses," commented Ketzler. "He had become like a member of our family. It's going to be hard to get past this. He was well liked by every member of the department as well as law enforcement as a whole."
The sheriff said that the Adams County Coroner's Office will be investigating the cause of death while the Decatur Fire Department and the State Fire Marshall's Office will be determining the cause of the fire.
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