MUNCIE, Ind. – A firefighter with the Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Department died early Wednesday morning.
Assistant Fire Chief Tom Rammel says 42-year-old Jeffrey Allan Blackmer was found dead inside the fire station three hours after battling blaze at a barn in North Delaware County Road 320-E. Another volunteer firefighter was the one who found Blackmer.
Rammel says Blackmer was one of about 10 of his firefighters that responded to the fire. When the crew got back to the station, Blackmer was reportedly fine.
The fire department says Blackmer remained at the station after the fire to clean equipment. He passed away at approximately 9:20 a.m.
Rammel says Blackmer had been a firefighter with the department for about a year and provided about 2,000 hours of service. The fallen first responder leaves behind a fiancé, Emily Reid, two children and multiple siblings.
"Jeff had a heart of gold along with his passion as a volunteer fireman," said the fire department. "His dedication to this department will sadly be missed by all members."
Just last week, Blackmer took part in the Operation Good Cheer, a program that helps make Christmas brighter for local children.
Delaware County Coroner Scott Hahn says the preliminary cause of death is "cardiac-related."
The unfortunate incident will likely be considered a line of duty death. A memorial has been set up at the fire station at 8021 N St Rd 3.