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KETCHUM — A 56-year-old Ketchum landscaper helping a couple with flooding issues died Wednesday after he was trapped in more than 6 feet of water in a flooded basement, the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office said.

Medics attempted CPR on Mike J. Wirth and rushed him to St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, but doctors there pronounced him dead.

Wirth, the owner of a landscaping company, was at 85 Eagle Creek Road, north of Ketchum, helping John and Andrea Hastings with flooding issues in their home, the sheriff’s office said.

At 11:10 a.m., the Hastings called 911 and reported Wirth was trapped and calling for help in the basement. Blaine County Communications dispatched deputies from the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office and a technical rescue team from the Ketchum Fire Department.

The rescue team went into the basement and were able to locate and retrieve Wirth, who was unconscious in a secondary room of the unlit basement in about 6 feet of water.

The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office is investigating whether something else like a medical emergency may have contributed to Wirth becoming trapped, a spokeswoman said. His cause of death is still undetermined.

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Wirth was unconscious and not breathing when he was pulled from the basement, and medics performed CPR immediately and on the way to the hospital, the spokeswoman said. They were never able to resuscitate him and doctors at the hospital pronounced him dead upon arrival.

The sheriff’s office is still investigating Wirth’s death.


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