NYC mayor: FDNY firefighter from Long Island dies after battling Queens fire
New York City Mayor Eric Adams says a firefighter from Long Island has died one day after battling a fire in Far Rockaway in Queens.
Jesse Gerhard was a firefighter at Ladder 134 and was an EMT for three years before becoming an FDNY firefighter, officials say. He had been in the force for seven years.
"The entire city mourns for the loss of this firefighter," says New York City Mayor Eric Adams. "A young man that dreamed to be a firefighter all his life."
The Islip Fire Department tells News 12 that Gerhard, 33, of Long Beach, was also a volunteer in their department.
Islip Fire Captain Thomas Butler says Gerhard was a "priceless guy."
"We can't lose too many of those," Butler says. "Those are the guys that we need, and we just lost one here in the Islip Fire Department and New York City lost one also."
Fellow firefighters say his big smile and dedication to serving the community will be missed.
Officials say the fire happened around 4 p.m. Tuesday, but it wasn’t until Wednesday night that Gerhard died. The home on the corner of Beach Channel Drive and Hartman Lane sustained extensive damage in the fire.
The acting FDNY commissioner says Gerhard suffered a "medical episode" at the firehouse while on duty at Ladder Company 134 in Far Rockaway Wednesday night. Firefighters tried to give him CPR. He was transported to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital and died there.
A procession of fire trucks and police cruisers escorted Gerhard's body to the medical examiner's office early Thursday.
The FDNY says the cause of Gerhard's death is under investigation.
Gerhard is the 1,156th member of the FDNY to die in the line of duty.
Funeral arrangements are pending.