A man later put on suicide watch taunted a northeast Indiana sheriff's deputy to come and get him inside a burning house, authorities said, and the officer ended up dragging him down the stairs to waiting officers who took him outside.
The Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department said officers rescued the Warsaw man from the burning house on Chapman Lake Drive shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday.
Deputies and Leesburg Fire Department personnel were sent to the southeast side of Big Chapman Lake about a possible fire set to commit suicide. The off-duty officer was three minutes away and got there first, finding the man standing inside the front door, according to a statement from the sheriff's department.
It said the man told the deputy to come and get him as he ran upstairs into the fire area. By the time the deputy got to the second floor, the man had fallen, overcome by the fire and toxic smoke. The sheriff's deputy got him downstairs, where others struggled to get the man into a squad car.
The sheriff's department said the man continued to struggle as emergency medical services workers gave him and the off-duty officer medical aid. The man was taken to an area hospital and then to a different location for a 72-hour mental evaluation.