UNION BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Firefighters in Union Beach are mourning the loss of one of their own who died while battling a four-alarm fire Sunday evening.
The fire broke out around 6 p.m. at a commercial building on Union Avenue that housed a hydraulics company.
Volunteer firefighter Robert “Hawk” Meyer, 54, collapsed while battling the blaze. He was taken to Bayshore Community Hospital where he later died.
The Monmouth County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Meyer died from cardiac arrest, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
“This is a tragedy for the family, firefighters, and the community of Union Beach,” Gramiccioni said.
A sign has been posted outside the Union Hose Fire Co. #1 stating, “Ultimate Sacrifice, Bob Meyer, June 8 2014.”
“They’re definitely hurting, it’s a big loss to them,” Mayor Paul Smith told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams. “They are going to have counseling.”
Neighbors are also heartbroken.
“I saw them take him out and they put him on a stretcher and took him away,” said neighbor Terry Tomasko. “It was sad.”
Four other firefighters were taken to Bayshore Community Hospital as a precaution, the prosecutor’s office said.
Officials said a broken electrical wire may have sparked the blaze. The fire remains under investigation.
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