California Firefighter Collapses at Wildfire

UKIAH, Calif. -- A firefighter died Thursday of an apparent heart attack suffered while assisting with the massive California wildfire.

Robert Roland, 63, was a member of Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Department.

Roland started having trouble breathing while helping to lay hoses about noon Wednesday at a fire near Philo, according to published reports.

He was taken by ambulance to Ukiah Valley Medical Center where he died about 4 a.m. Thursday, Chief Colin Wilson told a local reporter.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered flags across the state to fly at half-mast in Roland's honor

"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Volunteer Firefighter Recruit Bob Roland, who courageously lost his life while protecting his community from the threat of fire," his statement read.

Roland, a former Marine and retired manager of an aeronautical engineering firm, joined the company just three months ago after moving to the area.

Funeral services will be private. The fire department will hold a memorial service at a later date.

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