Long Island firefighter dies while responding to blaze

May 18, 2011 2:26:04 PM PDT
As fire fighters attacked the flames that consumed the house on Grand Avenue in Baldwin, one of their own was fighting for life and he didn't make it.

At Baldwin's Fire Company Number One today, they placed bunting over the doors and on the truck where 43-year-old fire fighter Michael Esposito spent some of his last minutes.

During the short ride to the fire, he felt the first symptoms of a massive heart attack.

"He had complained of some chest pains en route to the call, came to the command post and that's when EMS transported him while we were still fighting the fire," Chief Kevin Smith said.

By the time the fire was out, chief smith got the awful news. His longtime friend didn't make it.

Esposito spent half his life volunteering to help others in need. He was a three time former captain and a member of the department's racing team.

The heart attack, smith says, came out of the blue.

A few miles away, work crews boarded up the now condemned house. All eight people who lived in the home escaped without injury.

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