Family remembers 22-year-old killed in West Lafayette fire

Cody Day with his family at a Connersville High School football game. From left to right: brother Ty, father Michael, brother Caleb, and Cody.
The cause of the fire at an apartment complex off of the Purdue University campus remains under investigation.

The fire broke out in the Benchmark complex on South River Road shortly after 5:00 am Thursday.

Family members confirm that Cody Day, 22, died in that fire.

The Connersville native and Indianapolis resident had been visiting friends at the apartment building that burned.

"I'm too numb right now," said Cody’s father, Michael Day.

That unbearable heartbreak is something Michael Day tries to understand and cope with after the loss of his middle son.

Cody Day met up with a group of Connersville graduates at the off-campus apartment and stayed the night.

Family members got word something had happened and frantically tried to reach him.

"I kept calling Cody’s cell phone and got no answer and no answer," Michael Day explained.

Friends say when they realized he didn't make it out, they turned back, but the intensity of the fire kept them out.

"Cody was a very likeable person so we've had numerous messages and people showing up," his brother Ty Day said.

That support goes far beyond Connersville. Cody lived in Indianapolis and worked with his dad in Greenfield.

"He loved playing football," Michael Day smiled.

That love started as early as the fourth grade, continued through middle school and his senior year of high school, where students also voted him homecoming king.

The passion for football didn't end after school.

"He never switched to the Colts. He always stayed with the Broncos the whole time," Ty Day said with a laugh.

In fact, his Broncos hat still sits in the family room.

"For me, peace is that he is with my mom right now," Ty Day said.

Their mother passed away in 2010, the same year Cody graduated from high school.

"He took it harder than anyone, but never let anybody else see it, he was always able to smile and make sure everyone was having a good time," Ty Day explained.

"My wife battled cancer for a while so I knew and was prepared, but I wasn't prepared for this," Michael Day said while he fought back tears.

Now the family tries to find comfort in their memories.

"He was the jokester of the family and made us laugh when we didn't feel like laughing and were going to miss him," Michael Day said.

Connersville High School leaders brought in extra counselors to talk to students and staff impacted by the loss.

An autopsy performed Saturday by the Tippecanoe County Coroner found that Day died
from "soot inhalation with superheated air." His death was ruled accidental.

Visitation for Cody Day is scheduled for Tuesday, April 29, from 4-8 p.m. at the Urban Winkler Funeral Home in Connersville. His funeral will be held Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the funeral ho
me, with burial to follow at Dale Cemetery.