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Updated: Firefighter Scott Davis, Muncie Fire Department, killed in church fire.

Fallen Firefighter Scott Davis' wife, Raeanne, spoke Thursday:

“If there’s anywhere else he was going to pass, no better than the house of the Lord."
"To all of Scott's brothers, his fire department brothers, I want to thank you for never leaving his side and for staying with him all the way 'til the end. And there's been someone with him, there's been someone by his side, since the time that this happened, there's been someone by his side. So thank you very much. To all of our fire department family because you guys are a family to us."

Watch her full statement in the video above.

From The StarPress.com:

The department, (Muncie Fire Chief Sean) Burcham said, has brought in an “intervention team” from the Indianapolis Fire Department to help the MFD deal with the loss.

The ATF is sending a certified investigator to search for the cause and origin of Wednesday’s fire at the Tabernacle of Praise church. The StarPress.com’s story is here.

Injured in the fire were Lt. Alan Richards and Firefighter Shane Mann. The StarPress reports Lt. Richards suffered second- and third-degree burns; Mann sustained minor injuries.

More photos from the fire

Muncie Fire Department

Firefighter Close Calls

Firefighter Nation

Previous STATter911.com coverage

Excerpts from an article by Andrew Walker at TheStarPress.com:

More than three hours after flames sent a southside church's sanctuary roof crashing toward the ground, emergency personnel on the scene gathered around a covered body pulled from the still-steaming rubble and saluted their fallen brother.

Scott Davis, a Muncie firefighter and former Yorktown fire chief, died Wednesday after fire struck the Tabernacle of Praise on Wednesday afternoon.

Firefighter Scott Davis.

Davis, a husband and father of three, was 40 years old, according to Delaware County Sheriff Michael Scroggins, Davis' cousin.

Davis is believed to be the first Muncie firefighter to die while in the line of duty since 1955. (see below)

Two other firefighters were believed to have been injured in the blaze, but their names had not been released. Their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Contacted late Wednesday, Fire Chief Sean Burcham said he could not release any details about the fire, including the number of firefighters injured. "We'll issue a press release in the morning," he said.

Callers originally told emergency dispatchers heavy smoke was billowing from the sanctuary of the church, which sits on the south side of the property that borders the Muncie Bypass. By 3:55 p.m., the first of several city fire crews arrived to find flames shooting from the roof.

Twenty minutes later, that roof collapsed.

The implosion resulted in a loud booming noise followed by the crashing of glass and the screams of onlookers who witnessed a large amount of flames turn into an all-out inferno. One firefighter was seen escaping out of a sanctuary window just seconds after its roof came down.

Fire crews in the back of the building began scrambling from that point as word  circulated that a firefighter was possibly trapped under the collapsed roof. Dozens of neighbors, curious onlookers and Tabernacle of Praise members were arriving on the scene, some breaking down in tears while others embraced one another.

As crews from several local volunteer fire departments arrived on scene to assist MFD's firefighting efforts, it became apparent that a firefighter was, indeed, missing and possibly dead.

At 5:40 p.m., MFD Chief Burcham addressed the media on scene, confirming news that a Muncie firefighter was unaccounted for. He did not commentnurther.

As firefighters utilized the help of tanker trucks carrying water from various county fire departments to finally get the flames and smoke under control, a group of firefighters, police and other emergency personnel gathered alongside the south end of the building as crews went into the rubble in search of their fallen colleague. Some kneeled, others could be seen with their faces in their hands.

It was about 5:45 p.m. that Muncie fire Battalion Chief James Clevenger, a former county coroner, confirmed to The Star Press that the missing firefighter had died.

At 7:15 p.m., Davis' body was recovered from the collapsed building and placed inside a waiting ambulance. Officers and firefighters nearby also stood at attention and saluted.

Wednesday's church fire occurred coincidentally the same day U.S. Rep. Mike Pence announced the Muncie Fire Department was awarded a $309,760 grant for operations and safety.

Excerpts from an article by Douglas Walker at TheStarPress.com:

On Feb. 9, 1955, three city firefighters — Vernon Lutton, Doyle Upchurch and Clarence White — were killed when a wall collapsed on them as they tried to contain a blaze at the Swartz Paper Co.

While other local firefighters have lost their lives in the line of duty — including Richard Standafer, killed when a fire truck crashed while on an emergency run in 1986 — Davis is the first to perish at a fire scene since the Swartz Paper Co. disaster.

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