South Amboy firefighter collapses, dies in line of duty

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Gerald "Bear" Celecki at the South Amboy fire department's 125 anniversary parade. (Fire Chief John Kelly)

Gerald “Bear” Celecki at the South Amboy fire department’s 125 anniversary parade. (Fire Chief John Kelly)

SOUTH AMBOY, N.J. — A veteran firefighter died in the line of duty Wednesday morning in South Amboy.

Gerald “Bear” Celecki, 70, was responding to a call for a reported smell of natural gas in the area of 424 Parker Avenue when he collapsed at the scene.

Firefighters on the scene began performing CPR before paramedics arrived. Celecki was rushed to Raritan Bay Medical Center where he died shortly after.

NJ.com reports that Celecki, who grew up in Perth Amboy, spent more than 50 years as a firefighter.  He was currently the Chief of the Middlesex County Fire-Police.

Fire departments around New Jersey posted their condolences on Facebook.

“We offer our condolences to the South Amboy Fire Department as they mourn the loss of Gerald “Bear” Celecki in the Line of Duty. Rest Easy Brother,” read a post from the East Brunswick Independent Fire Company.