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Firefighter Dies While Responding To Fire

By: Trina Orlando
Irwin, Firefighter Memorial, westmoreland county

(Photo Credit: Trina Orlando/KDKA)

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A Westmoreland County firefighter died Wednesday morning while responding to a house fire.

Jim Gumbert, 63, reported to the North Irwin Fire Station around 2:45 a.m. to battle a house fire on Webster Street with his fellow firefighters.

As he was getting ready to head out, he suffered a heart attack. He was rushed to Forbes Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Gumbert served two years with the department and helped to train younger firefighters.

He was very active in the community with Relay for Life and also served as the treasurer of the Junior Firefighters Association for multiple departments.

Veteran firefighter Chad Smail broke his ankle while battling this morning’s blaze. He didn’t realize it was broken until after the fire was put out.

One person living in the home was treated for smoke inhalation.

A black banner hangs on the North Irwin Fire Department today and a small memorial has formed outside.

Funeral arrangements for Gumbert are not complete, but he will have a line of duty funeral with full honors. Firefighters from across the state are expected to attend.

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