Family members of David Tindall, who died after being severely burned in a fire at his Hope home, will say goodbye at a funeral Monday on what would have been his 53rd birthday.
They will remember how David loved NASCAR, fishing, playing pool and taking drives in the country with his brother, Raymond Tindall.
“He enjoyed getting out, riding around and seeing new things,” Raymond said. “We traveled the back roads a lot. We probably have been on every one of them around Hope.”
David, a Hauser High School graduate, formerly was a truck driver for Shelby Materials in Columbus.
Those good memories will help carry the family through the terrible ordeal that began with the fire three days after Christmas.
Thick, black smoke filled the mobile home in Circle Drive Trailer Park where David and Raymond, 50, lived together. Raymond awoke shortly after midnight and blindly grabbed for his cellphone, kicked out a window and climbed outside to dial 911.
“It was pitch black dark,” said Raymond, who heard his brother yelling and a smoke alarm going off. “I didn’t know where the fire was or where he was.”
Police arrived in about two minutes and firefighters shortly thereafter, but David was overcome by the smoke and fire. He sustained burns to more than 85 percent of his body.
David was flown to Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis, where he was treated in the burn center. He died Monday.
Raymond, David and another brother, Mark, are sons of Walter “Buzzy” and Mary Tindall of Hope.
His mother said David, a lifelong Hope resident, was in the early stages of dementia, and Raymond watched over him.
“Raymond took care of him and made sure he could get the things he needed,” Mary said. “David could do things on his own, but he would forget things five minutes after.”
Mary said David was a smoker and started the fire by throwing a cigarette into a trash can in the bathroom.
Fire officials, including Hope Fire Chief Jon Ross and the state fire marshal’s office, determined the cigarette did indeed spark the mobile home blaze.
Hope Town Marshal Randy Bailey said it was fairly easy to determine the fire’s origin from the burn pattern in the house, specifically in the heavily charred bathroom where the bathtub and other fiberglass fixtures melted. They also found cigarette butts in other trashcans in the home.
Bailey said volunteer firefighters were able to limit damage to the mobile home and avoid having the fire spread to neighboring units or Raymond’s truck parked outside.
Volunteer firefighters Matt Tallent and Levi Garrison, wearing breathing gear, also headed into the smoke and flames to drag David out.
Raymond said David was found on the floor about eight feet from the door. The brothers also had a cat that died in the fire.
Raymond, who is temporarily living with his parents, said he felt fortunate to receive only cuts to his foot and leg. He was released after treatment at Columbus Regional Hospital.
Mary said the timing of the tragedy, so close to Christmas and David’s birthday, has been difficult for the family, but the kindness and support of friends and the community has been appreciated.
David had three children, Brooke, Michelle and Derrick.
The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Norman’s Funeral Home in Hope.