Man, 83, dies after house fire in Delaware County

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SELMA, Ind. (Feb. 23, 2015) – A man died after a Monday morning fire in Delaware County.

Dispatchers tell FOX59 the fire started around 6:45 a.m. on East Jackson Street in Selma, which is east of Muncie.

The Delaware County Coroner’s Office confirmed a single fatality from the fire. The victim was identified as Charles Clairday, 83.

Neighbors said Clairday lived with his dogs.

“I didn’t know him real good. We were kind of on friendly terms. I mean, I visited him in the summer and our dogs talked to each other and he’d wave whenever he came out and we talked (every) now and then. But, he was a great guy and I feel real bad. It’s a tragedy,” said neighbor Ted Cook.

The fire started before 7 a.m. Monday. Liberty Township Fire Chief Randy Ridd said the second story of the home collapsed. Ridd said the cold weather made it trickier to fight the fire.

“We had some issues when we first got here with hydrants freezing, but we were able to get water eventually and we got everything up and running so (we were) just kind of working around it,” Ridd said.

Monday’s fire is the third fatal fire in Delaware County in two weeks. On February 9, a Muncie man died after running back into a home to save two pets. Authorities believed that fire was a tragic accident. The next day, authorities investigated another Muncie fire, which they considered a suspicious death investigation, after a 5-month-old baby boy was killed. That fire remains under investigation.

Chief Ridd said it could take weeks before they determine the cause of Monday’s Selma house fire.

“It’s been a – it’s been pretty wild. Two (fires) happened in Muncie and this is our first one for this year out here. We had one last year on the other side of town. You just gotta …you gotta cope with them and work through them,” Chief Ridd said.

This is the third fatal fire in Delaware County in the last two weeks. On Feb. 9, a man died after going into a home to save pets after a fire in Muncie. A day later, a baby died after a home in the 2400 block of Meeker Avenue caught fire. That case remains under investigation.

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