Medora man sustains burns in fire



A Medora man suffered several burns when a fire started in his home Monday morning.

Jeff Wingler, 54, was sleeping in a camper that had been converted into a mobile home when the fire started in the bedroom at about 10 a.m.

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Medora Police Chief Steve Ingle said he spotted flames coming up from the windows of the camper when he was driving on David Street, a block west of the camper.

Ingle, who also is a volunteer firefighter, called dispatch at the sheriff’s department and went to the nearby Carr Township Volunteer Fire Department to get a truck.

“Once I pulled up with the engine and was getting ready to put the fire out, that’s when he (Wingler) walked up to me,” Ingle said. “He hollered at me, ‘Steve, I am going to need an ambulance.’ I told him to go sit down while I tried to get the flames out.”

He said Wingler was pretty badly burned.

Fire Chief Joe Barnes said Wingler was asleep in another room when the fire started in the camper, which had been converted to living quarters and had utilities. The camper was on Riley Street just west of Mill Street.

Barnes said the cause of the fire remains under investigation, but it was believed to have started in a non-functional part of the camper not being used.

Wingler suffered burns on his upper body, face and feet, but Barnes said he was alert and talking.

Wingler received treatment from Jackson County Emergency Medical Services personnel before being flown by LifeLine helicopter from a landing spot at the ballfield in Medora to the burn unit at Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis.

Driftwood Township Volunteer Fire Department assisted at the scene by setting up the landing zone.

Wingler’s mother, Elaine Wingler, said she just prayed to God her son didn’t die in the fire.

“They would have had to take me to the hospital and give me a shot,” she said if he had died.

She and Wingler’s father, Lester, didn’t get to talk to their son after the fire but planned to go to Indianapolis as soon as they could to get someone to take them, Lester Wingler said.

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