Firefighter Jesse Gerhard, 33, collapses and dies after battling Queens House blaze – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBS New York) — Firefighter Jesse Gerhard died Thursday morning after battling a house fire earlier this week in Queens.

The FDNY said Gerhard responded to a fire Tuesday afternoon at a home on Beach Channel Drive in Far Rockaway. He then suffered a medical episode and collapsed at Ladder 134 Fire Station around 11 p.m. Wednesday.

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The mayor and fire marshal said the 33-year-old always wanted to be a firefighter and also served three years as a paramedic. He is survived by his parents and brothers.

(Credit: FDNY)

“He is exactly what we would like an FDNY member to be,” said FDNY Acting Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. “He had dreamed his whole life of becoming a member of the FDNY and he had made that dream come true, responding every day to help New Yorkers in need.”

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Officials said Gerhard was assigned to the post of “irons”, meaning he was the first to enter the burning building and search for victims.

“It’s a very tough position to be in, probably the toughest of all the different positions we work in,” said department head Thomas Richardson.

His cause of death is still under investigation.

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Stick with CBS2, CBS News New York and CBSNewYork.com for more on this developing story.

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