WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey volunteer firefighter suffered a heart attack while laying hose at the scene of a fatal fire at a Woodbridge home Thursday afternoon.
The flames broke out around 1:30 p.m. at 33 Jefferson St., in Menlo Park Terrace. Firefighters responding to the fire found the homeowner dead inside the home.
Firefighter Bruce Turcotte apparently collapsed at the scene. CPR was administered at the scene and Turcotte, 58, was put into an emergency vehicle and taken to JFK Hospital, where he passed away.
“He was running hose and otherwise assisting and just tragically collapsed at the scene,” Woodbridge Township Mayor John McCormick told 1010 WINS. “You have all experts here — you got guys running the scene trained in CPR: The first aid guys were here, the fire guys were here. They treated him and then transported him, but unfortunately it didn’t work and he passed away at the hospital.”
The fire may have started in the basement. It looked that way to Anthony Cesareo, who was driving by, called 911 and shot video on his cell phone.
“After I heard someone was in the house, I was like that’s crazy,” Cesareo told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin, adding that police and firefighters headed immediately into the basement after they responded.
One of Turcotte’s two firefighter sons was on the scene also battling the blaze.
“He was here with his dad and I can’t imagine what the family is going through right now. We’re going to do everything we can to comfort them and pay our proper respects to Bruce and the entire Turcotte family,” Woodbridge Fire Department Chief Ed Mullen said.
“My God he is going to be sorely missed — not only by his own fire house, but by the entire county of Woodbridge Township,” Mayor McCormick added.
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