NORTH HAVEN, Connecticut (AP) — A Connecticut firefighter who collapsed while fighting a house fire earlier this week died of heart problems, according to the state’s chief coroner.
Matthias Wirtz, a 22-year North Haven Fire Department veteran, had high blood pressure caused by high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and an abnormal heart valve, Chief Medical Examiner James Gill said Wednesday.
Firefighters said Wirtz collapsed next to a fire truck in front of the four-family home on Monday. First responders at the scene performed life-saving procedures on him, but he was later pronounced dead at a hospital. He was 46.
The cause of the house fire that displaced 13 residents is still under investigation.
Wirtz began his career as a volunteer firefighter in 1996, serving with the North East Volunteer Fire Co. #4 in North Haven. He has received numerous letters of recommendation over the years and was one of the Connecticut firefighters who responded to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City.
A funeral service for Wirtz is scheduled for Tuesday at St. Elizabeth of Trinity Parish at St. Barnabas Church in North Haven.
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