NEW DETAILS: Man apparently suffered medical issue in Bethel Twp. field fire, coroner says

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A man who was found dead in Bethel Twp. following an Easter evening pasture fire appears to have suffered a medical issue prior to the incident, according to a preliminary autopsy report from the Miami County Coroner’s Office.

Coroner Dr. Bill Ginn said a “minimal” amount of soot was found in Arthur Manley Jr.’s respiratory system.

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Information from a final autopsy will be released at a later date.

Bethel Twp. fire crews and Miami County sheriff’s deputies responded just before 5 p.m. Sunday to the 6100 block of Studebaker Road after a woman reported a pasture behind her home was on fire.

The 77-year-old man was found with a water can and severe burns on his upper torso, Ginn said.

“It was determined the male may have suffered a medical issue while tending to brush in the area, which led to severe burns on his person,” read a sheriff’s office report.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to reports.

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Manley was a neighbor of the woman who reported the fire on the back pasture of her five-acre property, said Bethel Twp. Fire Capt. Mike Arnold.

The neighbor told a 911 dispatcher that the fire was spreading pretty quickly, mostly going from east to west. She was not aware anyone had been outside or injured by the fire, according to reports.

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