A 44-year-old man remains hospitalized in Indianapolis with severe burns after pulling his father-in-law from their burning home near Freetown last week.

The fire at 2724 N. County Road 450W in the Ratcliff Grove area was reported by Joe Basham at 11:48 p.m. Thursday. It destroyed the home of William “Sonny”

Soladine, 73, and killed the family’s dog, Precious.

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Basham and his wife, Debra Soladine-Basham, moved into the home two years ago after Sonny Soladine suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed.

Soladine built the house more than 40 years ago, his daughter said.

Another daughter, Lori Sawyer, said Basham suffered larynx damage and second- and third-degree burns to his face, back, arms and hands while rescuing Soladine, who was unable to get out on his own.

“Joe is a hero,” Sawyer said of her brother-in-law.

When firefighters and emergency responders arrived, the house was engulfed in flames.

Lt. Andy Wayman, with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, said Basham was able to tell police he had put a candle on a candle warmer in the kitchen and then fallen asleep in the living room.

“He awoke to find the house burning,” Wayman said.

Wayman said Basham went into a bedroom to help Soladine get out of the house.

Sawyer said she believed that, after getting Soladine out, Basham tried to go back into the house to save Precious. The 10-year-old golden retriever did not make it.

“That dog was so sweet,” Sawyer said. “Joe will

be devastated to find out about Precious.”

Basham’s wife was working at Aisin Drivetrain in Crothersville at the time of the fire. Sawyer said her sister had talked to Joe around 11:30 that night, just before he called to report the fire.

Basham was treated at the scene by Jackson County Emergency Medical Services before being taken to the sheriff’s department. He was then flown to Eskenazi Health Burn Center in Indianapolis.

His father-in-law was taken by ambulance to Schneck Medical Center and later was released. He is staying with Sawyer and her husband in Crothersville.

Sawyer said Basham

has been sedated since he arrived at Eskenazi and is unable to speak.

However, he has opened his eyes and tried to move, Soladine-Basham said.

“I asked him if he remembered what happened, and he nodded yes,” she said. “He kept trying to get up, but he is restrained, and I could tell he was not happy. But I assured him it was for his good.”

Basham was to undergo tests Monday to determine how much damage had been done to his lungs and was scheduled for surgery today to remove the dead skin and likely undergo a skin graft, his wife said.

How to help

Anyone wanting to help the family with medical bills and replace clothing and other items lost in the fire can do so by donating to a fund set up in Joe Basham’s name at Chase Bank in Scottsburg.

The family needs basic toiletries, medium size men’s pants, and large and extra large shirts, and women’s extra large shirts and pants. Items may be dropped off at 445 Lynhurst St. in Scottsburg.

For updates on Basham’s condition or to find out how to help him and his family, visit the Basham Family Benefit page on Facebook.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.