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Friday, May 6, 2016

House fire takes life of Parke Co. man

Friday, March 31, 2006

Milford Harber photo

Fire consumed a house, killing one person, at 3901 S. Walker Boat Ramp Rd. in Parke County on Wednesday.

A rural Rockville house fire claiming the life of Gregory Pefley, 58, demanded the response of five volunteer fire departments.

Pefley lived alone in his home at 3901 S. Walker Boat Ramp Rd. in Parke County.

According to Parke County Sheriff's Department Detective Sgt. Justin Cole, a call was made at 2:28 a.m.,Wednesday, to report the fire with the possibility of someone inside the home.

Bellmore Volunteer Fire Department was the lead response team, while Bridgeton, Marshall, Adams Township and Putnam County's Bainbridge volunteer fire departments assisted.

When the departments arrived at the scene, the home was already fully engulfed with flames.

Family members on the scene told firefighters that Pefley's vehicle was in the driveway and he was likely inside. Once the fire was under control, firefighters found Pefley dead in a hallway, and according to WTHI-TV, Terre Haute, firefighters said that Pefley looked as though he was trying to escape.

Pathologist Dr. Roland Kohr's preliminary finding was that Pefley died from "carbon monoxide intoxication as a result of a burning fire."

Carbon monoxide intoxication is not the same as smoke inhalation.

According to Dr. Kohr, smoke inhalation is not always a cause of death and cannot be compared to carbon monoxide intoxication, stating that people who sit around a campfire or puff on a cigarette are inhaling smoke.

Andy Zirkle, spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security, said that the cause of the fire is still listed as undetermined due to the extent of the damage, but upon further investigation the cause may be determined. He said that fire is thought to have "originated from the southeast section of the home."

WTHI-TV reported that family members say Pefley is survived by a daughter and two grandchildren living in Texas.

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