A New York firefighter died Monday afternoon while battling a blaze at a senior citizens complex in Niagara County.

Ronald T. Kreamer, 34, served the Frontier Volunteer Fire Department in Wheatfield for 16 years.

The department was called to the multiple alarm fire at the Sawyer Garden Aparments at 2:10 p.m. Monday, said Chief Bruce Mack. A total of ten departments responded.

The three-story structure fire was caused by lightning.

During the overhaul just after 4 p.m., Kreamer was on the third floor with his crew when he was stricken with respiratory arrest and then cardiac arrest, Mack said.

"He turned around and asked his partner if he wanted something to drink, and all of a sudden he just collapsed," the chief said.

Kreamer is survived by his wife, Annette. He was a second generation firefighter, and would have turned 35 this Thursday.

A stress debriefing is being held for all responders and law enforcement personnel involved.

Calling hours will be held on Thursday and Friday, August 16th and 17th, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the Lane Funeral Home, 8622 Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls.

A memorial service will be conducted on Saturday, August 18th at 11:00 a.m. at the Frontier Fire Company, located at 2176 Liberty Drive, Niagara Falls.

Vehicle coordination is being conducted by Chief Richard Donner of the St. Johnsburg Fire Company and he can be contacted at 716-583-8117 or 716-694-4653.

If Chief Donner is unavailable, you may call the Fire Coordinator's Office at 716-438-3471.

The Frontier Volunteer Fire Department has 45 active firefighters and serves a population of 52,000 in an area of 25 square miles.