RIPLEY MAN DIES IN HOUSE FIRE
RIPLEY – A 59-year-old Ripley man died Friday morning after returning into his burning home to retrieve an unknown item.
“He got out of the home and got his mother out,” Ripley Fire Chief Butch Tapp said of Nelson Levon Shoffner of Ripley. “He was out. I don’t know why he went back in but he was overcome with smoke.”
Shoffner’s home, which is located just outside the city limits on County Road 809, was already engulfed in flames when trucks arrived on the scene shortly after midnight, Tapp said.
Winds of between 25 and 30 mph made it tough to contain the fire, which burned for about three hours, Tapp said.
Four Ripley Fire Department trucks and a rescue vehicle responded to the fire and Gravestown Fire Department sent two more pumpers to assist. There are no hydrants in the rural area, where only a few houses are located.
The cause of the fire had not been determined late Friday.
Shoffner’s mother, Dorothy Farris Shoffner, was reportedly not injured in the blaze.
Services for the retired supervisor of Cicero, Ill.’s Western Electric will be today at 1 p.m. at McBride Funeral Home in Ripley. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. today at the funeral home.