Firefighter dies after auto shop, plaza fire in Greenfield

GREENFIELD, Ind. -- A firefighter has died after fighting a large auto shop fire that spread to a nearby shopping plaza in Greenfield Friday.

The Greenfield Fire Territory announced Saturday evening the death of firefighter Scott Compton. 

Compton was one of the many firefighters who responded to Mueller Auto Body and Glass on U.S. 40 in Greenfield around 5 p.m. Friday for a large fire that could be seen from miles away. The fire spread to stores in the adjacent Riley Park Plaza.

It took firefighters several hours to put out all of the flames and hot spots.

According to the Greenfield Daily Reporter, Compton, 55, died of a heart attack in the hours that followed the firefight. 

Fire Chief Jim Roberts said Compton would have returned home between 12:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. He was discovered by paramedics Saturday afternoon.

"He loved serving his community and his department loved being part of the brotherhood of firefighters," Roberts said. 'Tremendous guy, hard worker, eager to do whatever needs to be done."

Because Compton's death occurred within 48 hours of fighting a fire, it's considered a line-of-duty death.

RELATED | Greenfield fire seen for miles spread from auto shop to nearby plaza

Compton served the fire department for 17 years, and was actively working part-time with the rank of lieutenant. 

Roberts said Compton previously underwent the required department physical and said nothing indicated health problems. 

"Never being through this - we've got a lot of tough days ahead of us," said Roberts. "When one of us have a tragedy we all chip in and help out."

Funeral arrangements, which will be public, are pending and information will be provided as it becomes available. 

"It just hasn't really sunk in yet that he's not gonna walk through the door and say 'hey what truck do you want me on tonight,' I just don't know that that has sunk in yet," said Jason Davis, who works for the department.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation although the fire chief says they think it may have started in the back of the building and spread.

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