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Indiana firefighter dies in line of duty

Indiana firefighter dies in line of duty

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indiana firefighter died in the line of duty Thursday night in Vigo County.

The Prairieton Fire Department announced District Chief Dave Phelps died of an apparent heart attack while responding to a structure fire.

Phelps had served the community for nearly 60 years and “was a highly respected firefighter that had a love and passion for the job.”

“This is a great loss for our department, the community and his family,” the department posted on Facebook. “Please continue to pray for strength for his friends, family and fellow firefighters.”

A source with knowledge of the investigation tells WISH-TV that foul play is not suspected.

A spokesperson for the Indiana State Fire Marshal said the department’s investigators are helping to determine the cause and origin of the fire.

Prairieton is a town of around 1,000 people in Vigo County near the Indiana-Illinois border.

Rep. Larry Bucshon, who represents the area in the U.S. House of Representatives, posted his condolences on social media Friday morning.

This is at least the second Indiana firefighter to die in the line of duty in 2023.

Farmland Assistant Fire Chief Kyle Osgood died in May when the fire tanker he was driving crashed in Randolph County.

Osgood was responding to a fire call at the time of the single-vehicle crash.

Photo courtesy Prairieton Fire Department