A Florida firefighter was killed Tuesday after a fall at his fire station resulted in a massive head injury.

Brian Reed had 12 years of service with West Manatee Fire and Rescue. He started as a volunteer and became a full time firefighter in 1995, said Larry Leinhauser, spokesman for the Manatee County Department of Public Safety.

Reed, 39, was standing on a 15-foot extension ladder and was working on a fixture in the apparatus bay. He either lost his balance or was electrocuted by the wiring, and fell from the ladder, Leinhauser said.

Department PIO Ernie Cave could not confirm details of the accident pending an investigation by the fire department and the county police department. He did say Reed fell 12 to 15 feet from a ladder to the concrete floor, and the investigation will determine whether or not electricity was involved.

Although Reed obviously suffered a serious head injury, the investigation will also determine his exact cause of death, Cave said.

The firefighter who was stabilizing the ladder for Reed said it looked like he passed out and fell forward, Leinhauser said. It also appeared that Reed may have sustained burns to his hands.

Medics on the scene immediately provided advanced life support, spinal immobilization, and transported Reed to Blake Memorial Hospital where he died about an hour later at 10:06 a.m.

Reed is survived by his wife Pamela and their two daughters; Donna, 10, and Elizabeth, 3.

Capt. Larry Revell described Reed as a dedicated father and husband who was very involved with his daughters, and was always willing to lend others a hand.

He said Reed was also an avid blood donor. "He did it to the max, whatever they allowed," Revell said.

"He was very reliable, very dependable, honest and hard-working," Revell said. "He never boasted on himself, but I boasted on him often. He was one of the guys on my shift and I loved him like a brother."

Revell said Firefighter Reed, a member of the department