Man kicks in door, searches for Middletown fire victim before first responders arrived

One person is dead after a house fire in the 700 block of 11th Avenue.

Fire crews responded around 7:50 a.m. and reported heavy smoke visible.

After learning there was someone inside the house, firefighters entered the house and quickly located him, Middletown Deputy Fire Chief Brent Dominy said.

A local resident, Donald Simms, saw smoke at the house and kicked in the door to try to find the victim.

He wrapped his face due to the smoke and crawled on his hands and knees, but was unable to find anyone before first responders arrived. They told him to stop searching.

“I knew the gentleman,” Simms said. “I just hope somebody would do that for me.”

Reports indicate the victim died of smoke inhalation.

>> Fire crews on scene of house fire on Maylan Drive

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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