A Watertown firefighter died after collapsing while fighting a two alarm fire on Merrrield Avenue Friday morning.
Watertown Police Chief Michael Lawn choked up as he told the media that a Watertown firefighter had lost his life.
“Our officers in were able to evacuate two people from the home as well as some pets,” Lawn said at about noon. “During the course of the fire a firefighter collapsed. He was transported to Mt. Auburn Hospital where he was just recently pronounced dead.”
Friday afternoon, the fallen firefighter was identified as 54-year-old Joseph Toscano, a 21-year veteran of the Watertown Fire Department. Read more about Toscano here.
Lawn said members of the Police Department and others in the town government are trying to support the members of the Watertown Fire Department. He said the Police and Fire Departments work hand in hand.
“We’re a small town. We work with our Fire Department everyday,” Lawn said. “The people are friends and family. It’s a sad day for everybody.”
The cause of the injury is not certain but Lawn said it may have been a heart attack.
State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said his office will investigate the fire along with the Watertown Fire Department, Watertown Police and the State Police.
“Talking to the deputy (fire) chief on scene, it was contained to one room with slight extension on the second floor,” Ostroskey said. “We are conducting an origin of cause investigation. The building was occupied at the time the fire started and was contained to second a floor room.”
He said Friday afternoon that the fire is not to believed to be suspicious and they are working on ruling out or identifying accidental causes.
Osman Yagcioglu, who lives around the corner from the house saw the flames coming out of the second floor window.
“There were big flames,” he said. “Six firefighters went in. They did a good job.”
One firefighter was removed on a stretcher and was being given chest compressions and oxygen, Yagcioglu said.
“Everyone watching was worried,” he said before the death was announced. “It is sad to see it.”
WHDH Channel 7 is reporting that the two occupants were also taken to hospital.
The fire was called in about 10:15 a.m. and the flames were doused by 10:30, according to a Watertown Police spokesman.
The brick house is located next to the lot for the Watertown Savings Bank branch on Bigelow Avenue.
Follow Watertown News for updates.