A Frederick, Maryland volunteer firefighter collapsed and died from an apparent heart attack while gearing up for a mulch fire Wednesday night.

Gilmore "Butch"Stitley III, 54, a life member of the Independent Hose Company No. 1 and also of the Citizens Truck Company No. 4, worked and lived as the on-site care taker at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. The city of Frederick operates a mulch yard where the fire was reported, adjacent to the fairgrounds.

After opening the fairgrounds to admit the firetrucks, Stitley was putting on his turnout gear when he collapsed.

Independent Hose Company president Richard Lewis said they had an ambulance and medic unit on the scene and immediately began work on Stitley. He was transported to Frederick Memorial Hospital where he died.

The fire was extinguished but proved difficult because of high winds and threats to fairground buildings according to Lewis. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

Stitley lived on-site with his wife Loretta. Lewis believed the Stitley