New Jersey Firefighter Dies in Engine


EAST GREENWICH TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- A 48-year-old Gloucester County firefighter died of unknown causes early yesterday en route to a construction site that was reportedly on fire, officials said.

Walter Fagan was stricken as he and five other firefighters headed to the site in the Mickleton section of East Greenwich Township around 1 a.m., said Nelson Wiest, chief of the East Greenwich Township Fire and Rescue.

Fagan was taken to Underwood Memorial Hospital in Woodbury, where he was pronounced dead, Wiest said, adding that an exact cause of death has not been determined.

Fagan had been a volunteer firefighter at the Mount Royal station for East Greenwich Fire and Rescue for about 10 years, Wiest said. He was married with two children.

"He was a very active member of the fire department," Wiest said. "You could call him at any time for anything, and he'd drop what he was doing to go to the station."

The reported fire turned out to be flames coming from a piece of construction equipment known as a salamander, which is similar to a heater and is used for drying purposes, Wiest said.

The funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday Jan. 4, in the McBride-Foley Funeral Home, 228 West Broad Street, Paulsboro.

Friends may call Thursday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. and Friday morning after 9 a.m. in the funeral home. Interment will be in Eglington Cemetery, Clarksboro.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Walt's memory to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA. 22312. Memories can be shared at