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Depauw man dies in fire

Depauw man dies in fire
Depauw man dies in fire
Indiana State Fire Marshal Andy Long, center, examines the camper in which Randall L. Dukes, 48, of Depauw died yesterday morning. The camper was alongside Blue River in northern Harrison County. (Photo by Mike Arnold)

The body of a Depauw man was found yesterday morning in a burned-out camper on Blue River in northwest Harrison County.
Capt. Brad Shepherd of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. said the man was Randall L. Dukes, 48, of Depauw.
Dukes’ daughter had dropped him off Monday about 5 p.m. at a campsite in Recreation Unlimited off West Pay Drive in Blue River Township. He had been living there about two weeks in a camper-trailer that measured about 12 by 16 feet, Shepherd said.
The daughter returned yesterday morning to take her father to an appointment with his doctor, police said.
When she arrived, the daughter discovered the smoldering trailer and went to call for help.
Police and the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept. were dispatched to the scene about 9:25 a.m.
Fred Churchill, who owns the property, told police yesterday that he had seen flames about 10 p.m. Monday but thought it was coming from a campsite near Dukes’ site. Shepherd said some other campers had asked him earlier Monday about burning some brush. Churchill said he thought the fire was coming from their site.
The watch Dukes was wearing had stopped at 9:10 p.m. Monday, police said.
Police said Recreation Unlimited officially opens April 1, when it turns on the water and electricity. Each campsite has water hook-ups available, and about half of the sites have electricity available, police said.
The daughter told police that Dukes was heating his camper with a charcoal stove. She also said her father had heart surgery last summer and walked with a cane, due to a hip replacement.
Shepherd said dental records and information resulting from his hip surgery were used to identify the body. An autopsy is to be performed today at the Jefferson County (Ky.) Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville.
Indiana State Fire Marshal Andy Long, who was at the scene yesterday morning, told police he was unable to determine the cause of the fire.
Police and Harrison County Deputy Coroner John Gott are investigating Dukes’ death.
Funeral arrangements were unavailable yesterday afternoon.

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