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Teacher saves man in Georgetown fire

Georgetown-area resident George Barmore, 60, remained in critical condition yesterday in Indianapolis after a Monday morning fire destroyed the first floor of his ranch-style home.
Barmore suffered burns to his face, hands, lower torso, back, legs and right foot, plus smoke inhalation, said Troy Conrad, assistant chief of the Georgetown Township Fire Dept. But Barmore, who is disabled, might not have survived the fire at all, Conrad said, if it hadn’t been for the assistance of Ron Snyder.
Snyder, 47, a science teacher at North Harrison Middle School in Ramsey and a neighbor of Barmore’s, was on the way to work when he saw smoke coming from Barmore’s Wissman Road residence.
Pulling his pickup into a neighbor’s driveway to inspect the home more closely, Snyder saw fire and ran to the house. Snyder, a former varsity football coach at North Harrison High School and assistant at Corydon Central, expected to have to enter the house and crawl beneath the smoke. He knew Barmore had health problems, including emphysema and a lack of mobility.
As he approached the home, Snyder heard Barmore calling for help. He opened the door and found Barmore standing on the other side.
“He was naked and said so. I said, ‘That doesn’t matter,’ ” Snyder said, adding, “He might have got outside OK. The steps would’ve been the hard part for him.”
After helping Barmore down the six or eight steps to the yard, Snyder placed Barmore in his truck and returned to the burning home to try to rescue Barmore’s pets. Barmore’s wife, Alberta, was not at home.
Snyder tried to force his way into the garage by hand, but by that time, pieces of the burning building were falling to the ground and Barmore’s dogs had stopped barking.
Snyder considered backing his truck into the garage door to save Barmore’s dogs, bird and cat, but he decided the injured Barmore, who was resting in the truck, had been through enough.
The Georgetown Township Fire Dept. responded to the fire, which was reported about 7:15 a.m., and was assisted by fire departments from Greenville and Lafayette Township. Yellow Ambulance units also responded.
Barmore was treated at Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services in New Albany Monday morning before being flown to Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis where he was listed in critical condition yesterday.
The fire originated in a bedroom where Barmore was sleeping, Conrad said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but, Conrad added, it was not a suspicious fire. The first floor of the home was destroyed. The basement was mostly intact and suffered only minor water damage.
As for Snyder’s act of bravery, “Most people would do it,” Snyder said.”The firemen, they’re the heroes. They do this stuff everyday. I think they’re pretty brave.”