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Heart attack killed New Jersey firefighter who died battling blaze

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A 54-year-old volunteer firefighter died battling a four-alarm blaze in Union Beach on Sunday, June 8, 2014. (Photo: Dean McDermott)

UNION BEACH, N.J. (PIX11) – A volunteer firefighter who collapsed outside a burning building in New Jersey died of a heart attack, officials revealed Monday.

Robert Meyer, 54, was helping to fight flames ripping through a business in Union Beach Sunday. He was a volunteer firefighter with Union Hose Fire Company No. 1.

The fire broke out shortly before 6 p.m. at HydrAir, Inc., located at 615 Union Ave.

It soon grew to four alarms, forcing emergency responders to call in reinforcement from eight other fire departments and several more county agencies.

At some point during the firefight, Meyer went into cardiac arrest and collapsed outside the building, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital Sunday evening.

Four other firefighters were taken to hospitals as a precaution.

“The Bayshore community and Monmouth County residents are mourning the loss of a man who volunteered his time to help those in need. His death is a selfless act that illustrates his dedication to his community,” Monmouth County First Assistant Prosecutor Marc C. LeMieux said in a statement.

The caught of the fire is under investigation.

Anyone with information about how it may have been sparked is urged to call Detective John Liebfried of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 or Detective Chris Tuberion of the Union Beach Police Department at 732-264-0313.

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