Muncie mourns loss of firefighter killed in church fire

FiresDisasters and AccidentsMike PenceHuman Interest

The City of Muncie, Indiana is mourning the loss of a firefighter who was killed while working a fire at a local church. Scott Davis was 40 years old. Scott was unaccounted for after the roof of the Tabernacle of Praise Baptist Church collapsed Wednesday afternoon. Multiple agencies from around Delaware County responded to the two-alarm fire.

The first call came in just before 4 p.m. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Indiana State Fire Marshall and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) are investigating. A witness on the scene Wednesday told Fox59 News lightning struck a utility police nearby earlier in the day but that was not confirmed by fire officials. It's unclear if weather may have played a role in the fire.

Davis was laid off by the fire department during a budget cut move but he was later rehired. Muncie Mayor Sharon McShurley said the labor issues had nothing to do with Davis' death. Davis had numerous special training. He had received several certifications including aerial operations, tactical operations and hazmat

The Muncie Fire Department did not want to comment on any possible issues during the fire. A spokesperson said more information may be released Friday.

Two other firefighters were injured in the fire. Alan Richards suffered second-degree burns. Shane Manns also suffered minor injuries.

The last firefighter killed while on duty with the Muncie Fire Department was back in 1955.

Davis is survived by his wife, Raeanne and three children (8, 12, and 14).

Click here to post a tribute to the fallen firefighter.

U.S. Congressman Mike Pence (R-6th District) paid tribute to Davis on the floor of the House of Representatives Thursday.

"Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honor the service and sacrifice of one of Indiana's bravest. Firefighter Scott Davis was tragically killed yesterday while fighting a fire at Tabernacle of Praise Church in Muncie, Indiana. He is the first Muncie firefighter to give his life in the line of duty since 1955. Those who knew Firefighter Davis were not surprised at his boldness and bravery in the Tabernacle of Praise fire. He was a former Yorktown fire chief, and had been with the Muncie Fire Department since June 15, 2005. He bravely sacrificed his life protecting the community, and in so doing, he will forever be remembered as a hero and servant leader. In the midst of great tragedy, I honor Firefighter Davis and the other brave men and women who risk their lives every day to protect their community. We must always be grateful for those who run in when others run out. Firefighter Davis was a man of faith, a devoted husband to his wife Raeanne, and loving father of three children - Jake, Emma, and Max. My family and I offer our deepest condolences and prayers to his loved ones, and we honor the legacy of Firefighter Davis' life of sacrificial service.The Good Book tells us that 'The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.' And that is my prayer for the Davis family and the Muncie community."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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FiresDisasters and AccidentsMike PenceHuman Interest