Mich. Firefighter, 22, Dies of Apparent Heart Attack

A firefighter from Mattawan (Mich.) Fire District has died of an apparent heart attack on the way to the scene of a garage fire Tuesday night. He was 22 years old.

According to a story published by the Kalamazoo Gazette, Nate Fruin was found in full cardiac arrest in his vehicle a quarter of a mile from the fire station when first responders found him. He was transporting water and refreshments to the scene of the fire four miles from the station, according to the newspaper report.

Shortly after leaving the station with the refreshments, Fruin’s partner, who was driving, called to report the medical emergency. Fruin was taken to Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo were efforts to revive him were not successful. His colleagues in the department, where he had served for six years, described him as a healthy young man with no history of heart problems, according to the published report. He started with the department as a cadet and joined in 2009 after graduating from high school.

The fire in the garage was likely caused by a heater near the rear of the structure, according to the newspaper. The owner of the home received burns to his face and an arm when he discovered the fire which destroyed the garage and caused damage to the attached house.

Mattawan Fire Chief Terron McLean said the Fruin’s death will be classified as happening in the line of duty and he will receive a funeral with full honors as the family wishes, the paper reported.

Services and arrangements are pending with the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home in Kalamazoo.