Coroner: Fallen Indiana Firefighter Smothered

Upland volunteer firefighter Sidney Hall died after being deprived of oxygen while trapped inside a burning house last week, the Allen County coroner announced Tuesday.

Hall, 52, died following a Wednesday house fire at 7056 E. 100S. He fell through a floor and was trapped, perhaps for as long as 20 minutes, before being rescued. He died Thursday at Parkview Hospital, Fort Wayne, where he was flown following the fire.

Dick Alfeld, the chief investigator for the Allen County coroner's office, said the official cause of Hall's death was hypoxia and asphyxiation due to position.

"Basically, he couldn't breathe because he had pressure on his chest," Alfeld said. "It was an accident."

Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Division is also investigating the fire, which injured seven other firefighters.

"We opened the inspection on Friday when we received word of the passing, and when it will be concluded is to be determined," said James Moore, director of industrial complaints at IOSHA. "Work place fatalities are required to be reported to us within eight hours, and then we do an investigation ... within our jurisdiction."

Hall's funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Taylor University's Odle Gymnasium. After the service, a processional made up of fire departments from across the county and state will leave the university, taking Hall past the Upland Volunteer Fire Department for a last call ceremony before being taken on to Portland for burial.

Visitation is from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday at Taylor's Rediger Chapel. Hall worked at Taylor for 20 years and also graduated from the school.

"Sid was an alumnus, and of course Sid had worked here for 20 years and he was a very well-loved part of our community, at Taylor as well as the Upland community," said Jim Garringer, director of media relations.

Republished with permission of the Chronicle-Tribune.

Funeral Information

Visitation is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 12 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Rediger Chapel at Taylor University, 236 W Reade Ave, Upland, Ind.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. at the Odle Gymnasium at Taylor University, 236 W Reade Ave, Upland, Ind.

Burial will follow at Green Park Cemetery, Portland, Ind.

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