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Fire victim died of smoke inhalation
Updated on: 01.30.13
The woman found dead inside a burned Nashville home Monday morning succumbed to smoke inhalation.

Chief Deputy Coroner Earl Piper released the cause of death for 60-year-old Cheryl D. Burris Tuesday afternoon after an autopsy conducted in Seymour. He did not know the exact time of her death, but said Burris had likely died by the time a school bus driver called 911 after seeing smoke pouring from the back of her home in downtown Nashville.

Piper noted that smoke inhalation can kill a person in a matter of minutes.

Brown County (Nashville) firefighters responded to 148 E. Washington St. after Brown County Schools bus driver Tom Cook smelled burnt plastic in the air while prepping his bus in the nearby parking lot at about 6 a.m.

Cook traced the odor to Burris’ home and called 911. When he walked to the front of the house, he discovered flames leaping from inside the single-story structure.

Cook began notifying neighbors at about the time Nashville Chief Deputy Ben Seastrom arrived on scene. The two of them began banging on the walls of Burris’ home, trying to wake anyone inside.

Cook said he navigated thick smoke billowing from the windows to get to the back door. The door was locked, and the handle was hot to the touch. He and Seastrom then backed away from the burning house, he said.

Brown County (Nashville) Volunteer Fire Chief Dallas “Dak” Kelp said firefighters had the fire extinguished in about 35 minutes. They had tried to get in the house after learning that someone may be inside, but a collapsing ceiling and intense flames forced them to retreat.

Fire destroyed a major portion of the home. Burris was found inside a bedroom at the back of the house.

Her neighbor, Wanda Reding, keeps watching Burris’ front porch, waiting for her to emerge for a friendly chat before heading off to work at the Brown County Inn. The sudden death of her friend has not sunk in.

“She was a real sweetheart,” Reding said. “She was one of those type of friends you knew was there if you needed her.”

They shared books, exchanged Christmas cards and watched each other’s cats when out of town.

Reding also complimented firefighters for protecting her home, about 10 feet away.

“God bless the firemen. They did a wonderful job,” she said. “They were miraculous. To me, they’re like angels.”

Reding thanked Cook’s quick thinking to alert neighbors. He accepted but downplayed his role.

“You see a fire, you call 911, and you knock on people’s doors. There’s nothing extraordinary about that,” Cook said. “Anybody else would have done the same thing. The next person in the bus lot would have done the same thing.”

An official cause of the fire has not been released by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s Division of Fire and Building Safety, which conducts fatal fire investigations throughout the state.

Bond-Mitchell Funeral Home is handling Burris’ funeral arrangements.

A memorial service is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at the Brown County Inn.

Read her obituary by clicking here.

  • February 7
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    9 to 11 a.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • February 7
    'Joy' at the playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • February 7
    Read to a dog at the library
    2 to 3 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 7
    BC Parks & Rec adult basketball
    noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. BCHS, 235 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 8
    Women's support group meets weekly
    6:30 p.m.
  • February 8
    Beeline beekeepers club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 9
    Nashville Parking & Public Facilities Development
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • February 9
    CSCD Roads, Security commissions
    6 p.m., 7 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive
  • February 9
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 9
    Peaceful Valley Heritage meeting
    6:30 p.m. BC Community Foundation, 209 N. Van Buren St.
  • February 9
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • February 9
    Women's Bible study on spiritual warfare offered Tuesdays
    1 to 3 p.m. Cornerstone Inn, 54 E. Franklin St.
  • February 9
    Van Buren VFD
    6 p.m. VBVFD station, 4040 State Road 135 South
  • February 9
    B.C. Fair Board
    7 p.m. 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 9
    BC Health Septic Review Commission
    10 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 10
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • February 10
    Sanders group meeting at library
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 10
    CRC Steering Committee
    6:30 p.m. CRC, 246 E. Main St.
  • February 11
    CSCD Water Commission
    5 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive
  • February 11
    LEGO Club
    11 a.m., 4 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 11
    Nashville Arts & Entertainment Commission
    10 a.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • February 11
    Gospel jam & sing in Gnaw Bone
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • February 11
    Photography club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 11
    Jackson Township Advisory Board
    6:30 p.m. Jackson Fire Dept., 4831 Helmsburg Rd.
  • February 12
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • February 12
    Dave Miller at sports bar
    6 to 8 p.m. Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • February 13
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • February 13
    Farm-to-Fifth tours at distillery
    11 a.m. to 5 p.m. hourly Bear Wallow Distillery, 4484 E. Old State Road 46, Gnaw Bone
  • February 13
    Quaff N Brew beer school at brewery
    11 a.m. Big Woods Brewery, 60 Molly's Lane
  • February 13
    Church breakfast free to community
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • February 13
    BC Parks & Rec youth basketball
    9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon BC Junior High, 95 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 13
    BCHS boys basketball
    6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. BCHS, 235 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 13
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • February 13
    Widowed group
    2:30 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 14
    BC Parks & Rec adult basketball
    1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. BCHS, 235 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 14
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    9 to 11 a.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • February 15
    Nashville/Brown County Government Offices CLOSED
  • February 15
    BC Public Library Board of Trustees
    6 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 15
    Countywide summit on children scheduled
    9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould
  • February 15
    Women's support group meets weekly
    6:30 p.m.
  • February 16
    BC Convention & Visitors Bureau
    8:30 a.m. Artist Colony Inn, 105 S. Van Buren St.
  • February 16
    CSCD Board of Directors
    7 p.m. CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • February 16
    Brown County Council
    6:30 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 16
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • February 16
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 16
    Women's Bible study on spiritual warfare offered Tuesdays
    1 to 3 p.m. Cornerstone Inn, 54 E. Franklin St.
  • February 16
    Hamblen Township Board
    6:30 p.m. Hickory Ridge Community Center, 2314 Hickory Ridge Lane off Hornettown Road
  • February 16
    Nashville Development Review Commission
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • February 16
    Nashville Police Merit Commission
    6 p.m. Nashville Police Station, 200 Hawthorne Dr.
  • February 17
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • February 17
    BC Commissioners
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 17
    Sanders group meeting at library
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 17
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees executive session
    6 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould
  • February 17
    B.C. Election Board
    2 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 18
    LEGO Club
    11 a.m., 4 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 18
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 18
    Nashville Town Council
    6:30 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • February 18
    BC Corrections Advisory Board
    4 p.m. Veterans Hall, 902 Deer Run Lane
  • February 18
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees
    6:30 p.m. BCHS, 235 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 18
    Gospel jam & sing in Gnaw Bone
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • February 18
    Helmsburg Sewage Board
    7 p.m. BC Community Church, 2370 Main St., Helmsburg
  • February 19
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • February 20
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • February 20
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 20
    'Bourbon Experience' at distillery
    10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bear Wallow Distillery, 4484 E. Old State Road 46, Gnaw Bone
  • February 20
    BC Parks & Rec youth basketball
    9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon BC Junior High, 95 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 21
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    9 to 11 a.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • February 21
    BC Parks & Rec adult basketball
    1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. BCHS, 235 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 22
    American history DVD to play at library
    1 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 22
    Women's support group meets weekly
    6:30 p.m.
  • February 23
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • February 23
    Family history workshop offered at the library
    1 to 4 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 23
    Live music at sports bar
    8 p.m. to midnight Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • February 23
    BC Area Plan Commission
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 23
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 23
    Women's Bible study on spiritual warfare offered Tuesdays
    1 to 3 p.m. Cornerstone Inn, 54 E. Franklin St.
  • February 24
    BC Board of Zoning Appeals
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 24
    BC Parks & Rec Board
    5:15 p.m. Parks & Rec Office, 1001 Deer Run Lane
  • February 24
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • February 25
    Gospel jam & sing in Gnaw Bone
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • February 25
    Brown County/Purdue Extension Board
    7 p.m. 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 26
    Nashville Development Review Commission
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • February 26
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • February 27
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • February 27
    BC Parks & Rec youth basketball
    9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon BC Junior High, 95 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 28
    BC Parks & Rec adult basketball
    1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. BCHS, 235 Schoolhouse Lane
  • February 29
    Women's support group meets weekly
    6:30 p.m.
  • February 29
    Photography club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 1
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • March 1
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • March 1
    Nashville Redevelopment Commission
    4:30 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • March 1
    CSCD Building Commission
    7 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive
  • March 2
    BC Soil & Water District
    5 p.m. SWCD Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • March 2
    BC Commissioners
    9 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • March 2
    Nashville Main Street Committee
    9:30 a.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • March 2
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • March 3
    Gospel jam & sing in Gnaw Bone
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East, Gnaw Bone
  • March 3
    CSCD Ecology Commission
    6 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive
  • March 3
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees executive session
    6:30 p.m. BC Intermediate School, 260 Schoolhouse Lane
  • March 5
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • March 7
    4-H Council
    7 p.m. 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • March 7
    Gnaw Bone Sewage Board
    5:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 8
    CSCD Roads, Security commissions
    6 p.m., 7 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive
  • March 8
    Nashville Parking & Public Facilities
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • March 8
    B.C. Fair Board
    7 p.m. 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • March 9
    CRC Steering Committee
    6:30 p.m. CRC, 246 E. Main St.
  • March 10
    BC Convention & Visitors Commission
    8:30 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • March 10
    Nashville Arts & Entertainment Commission
    10 a.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • March 10
    CSCD Water Commission
    5 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive
  • March 15
    BC Board of Health
    7 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • March 15
    BC Convention & Visitors Bureau
    8:30 a.m. Cornerstone Inn, 54 E. Franklin St.
  • March 16
    Lake Lemon Conservancy District Board
    6 p.m. Benton Township Senior Center, 7616 E. State Road 45, Unionville
  • March 17
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees
    6:30 p.m. BC Intermediate School, 260 Schoolhouse Lane
  • March 23
    BC Parks & Rec Board
    5:15 p.m. Parks & Rec Office, 1001 Deer Run Lane
  • March 23
    BC Board of Zoning Appeals
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • March 28
    American history DVD to play at library
    1 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 4
    Gnaw Bone Sewage Board
    5:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • April 5
    CSCD Building Commission
    7 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive
  • April 5
    Nashville Redevelopment Commission
    4:30 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • April 6
    BC Soil & Water District
    6:30 p.m. SWCD Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • April 6
    BC Local Emergency Planning Committee/Emergency Management Advisory Council
    8 a.m. Ambulance base, 53 State Road 46 East
  • April 6
    BC Commissioners
    9 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane