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UPDATED: Mitchell Man Dies In Apartment Fire
Updated February 21, 2017 10:35 AM | Filed under: Fire
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(MITCHELL) - A man died in an apartment fire in the 300 block of East Frank Street, Saturday night.

A Mitchell police officer and Mitchell Volunteer Fire Department were first on the scene.

One Mitchell VFD firefighter experienced heat exhaustion, and another breathed in hot smoke and gas, according to Assistant Chief Cassidy and a Mitchell Police Department officer suffered from smoke inhalation, when he went in to try and save 56-year-old Michael McCoy.

When Marion VFD arrived at 8:47 p.m., Mitchell firefighters were attempting to put out the fire.

Three Marion VFD fire fighters from Engine 52's crew entered the home to search for McCoy.

McCoy was found in a bedroom with a mattress on top of him.

"A Marion firefighter held up the mattress, that was on fire, and pinned it against the wall while two other Marion firefighters and one Mitchell firefighter removed the victim," says Marion VFD Chief Paul Gillespie. "As they were exiting the structure with the victim the Mitchell Firefighter collapsed."

Other firefighters on the scene assisted in moving McCoy to the yard for a medical evaluation.

"A Marion Firefighter checked the fire victim for a pulse, none was found, and CPR and other life saving procedures began immediately with firefighters, Mitchell police officers and Ambulance crews from AMR Medics 1 and 2," Chief Gillespie says.

Chief Gillespie says it took less than five minutes to remove McCoy from the burning home.

Firefighters believe a cigarette started the blaze in McCoy's bedroom. McCoy shared the apartment with his sister. She was able to escape without injuries.

"She was out of the apartment when we arrived," Assistant Chief Cassidy says. "There was a lot of smoke coming from the front of the apartment. We got the fire knocked down quick and then began looking for Mr. McCoy."

Firefighters from both Mitchell and Marion VFDs were called to the two-bedroom apartment at 8:24 p.m.

Emergency personnel pronounced McCoy dead at the scene, according to Mitchell Fire Department Assistance Chief Fred Cassidy.

Twelve firefighters battled the blaze. Marion VDF responded with 6 firefighters and Engine 52.

Also assisting at the scene were officers from the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, Mitchell Police Department and Orleans Police Department. An AMR ambulance crew and Tabernacle of Praise Emergency Services also responded.

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