Woman dies while fighting trash fire


A rural Seymour woman burning trash Tuesday was found dead after the fire got out of control and burned several acres, police report.

The results of an autopsy conducted on 64-year-old Ramona K. Blackburn at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour showed she may have died of a medical condition, investigators report.

Blackburn’s body was found by her husband, James E. Blackburn, after Crothersville-Vernon Township firefighters arrived and put out the fire, Jackson County Sheriff Michael Carothers said. The fire was reported at 5:35 p.m. Tuesday at Blackburn’s home in the 700 block of North County Road 1240E in Vernon Township.

“It looks like she was burning trash and it may have gotten away from her,” Carothers said.

An autopsy was conducted Wednesday morning by Dr. George Weir, a pathologist, at Schneck Medical Center, Jackson County Coroner Roger Wheeler said.

Wheeler said the preliminary cause of death is being listed as related to a heart condition, but the official cause of death will not be available until blood test results are complete.

Carothers said it’s possible Blackburn may have died of stress and/or heat exhaustion trying to put out the fire.

“It was warm that day,” Carothers said.

The funeral for Blackburn, who also is survived by two daughters, six grandchildren and a brother, will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Woodlawn Life Celebration Centre in Seymour. Burial will be at 1 p.m Monday at the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Madison.

Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday and from 9 a.m. until time of service Monday.

Read the story in Friday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.

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