House fire claims the life of a Muncie man considered a hero by family

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MUNCIE, Ind. (Feb. 9, 2015) - A man died Monday morning after he tried to rescue two pets from a house fire, authorities said.

Ty Harmon, 37, lived along Jefferson Street in Muncie. His father’s girlfriend lives in the home too where the fire started. Harmon's father passed away in December from a medical issue, authorities said.

Harmon called 911 to report the house fire. The fire started around 2 a.m. Harmon helped save the woman, who lives in the home. He went back into the house, firefighters said, to try to rescue a dog and a cat.

Firefighters believe Harmon died from smoke inhalation, but autopsy results are pending. The fire woke up people in the neighborhood.

“I heard the first siren go by and it was –it was very close,” Judy Elton said.

Muncie firefighters ruled the fire an accident. They believe the fire started because an electric blanket malfunctioned.

“I think it’s very tragic and it just points to why it’s important for us to have… professional firefighters (and) professional police officers and let them do the work because they do have the equipment to keep them safe while we don’t,” Sue Godfrey said.

The woman, who Harmon rescued, was listed in fair condition at Ball Memorial this afternoon.

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