N.J. Firefighter Dies After Falling from Roof

A New Jersey firefighter fell to his death from a roof early Friday morning while his sons were battling the flames elsewhere.

Wallington Firefighter Gregory Barnas, 57, was cutting a hole in the roof of the Akasaka Japanese restaurant when he fell off the one-story roof.

Later, firefighters from Truck Company 1 gathered at the Union Boulevard fire house to remember their fallen brother, according to North Jersey. 

They plan to put up purple bunting, the traditional sign of a fire company in mourning. The flag at the firefighters'  memorial, next to the fire house, is at half-mast as is the flag at the municipal building, reporters noted. 

The department provides mutual aid to nearly two dozen towns including Passaic. 

Barnas started his volunteering with  Wallington Fire Department as a junior firefighter in 1972.

"It's a tragic loss for our fire department, words just can't even come to mind for it," fellow firefighter Mark Tomko told reporters. 

He also was a career firefighter in Jersey City. 

He started there in April, 1985, and was was promoted to captain  in 2003. He spent most of his career as the officer at Ladder 6. 

Throughout his tenure Barnas had been cited for recognition of acts of bravery and for actions above and beyond the call of duty, fire officials said. 

He is survived by his wife, Patty, and sons,  Kevin and John.

Kevin was recently appointed to the Jersey City Fire Department in June of 2013, and John is an aspirant to the same profession to which his father had so honorably dedicated himself to.