DALLAS — When a Texas fire chief died after suffering a heart attack on the job, the mayor of Dallas issued a statement acknowledging his death and said the city would honor him as a hero.
Firefighters from the Dallas Fire Department and Texas State Fire Marshal were dispatched to the 9500 block of Northwest 23rd Street at about 5:20 a.m. on Friday to help fight a brush fire in the neighborhood.
After getting to the scene, the firefighters spotted a man with the same injuries as the first firefighter, said Lt.
Eric Lehr, a Dallas Fire spokesman.
The man, identified by the mayor as Mark Vann, 51, had a heart condition, he told police and paramedics.
The firefighters went to the man, who was conscious and breathing, and administered CPR, Lehr said.
Vann died at the scene.
The cause of death was not immediately available.
Lehr declined to say whether Vann was a firefighter or had been.
The incident comes as Texas lawmakers prepare to begin debate on a bill that would allow local governments to determine when fires are allowed to burn.
Fire fighters are allowed at the edge of neighborhoods when it is not safe to do so, but if there is no one else available, they can intervene.
That would be the case if a fire breaks out, Lehnert said.
Firefighter Mark Vatt, left, and his wife, Nancy Vatt in 2013.
Lehr said Vann would be remembered as a “hero” who “took on an entire community.”
The Dallas Firefighters Association issued a news release Thursday thanking the city of Dallas for its support and for the fire department.
The Dallas Police Department and the State Fire Marshals Service are investigating.