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Thread: MA District Chief Dies From Lung Failure

  1. #1
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    MA District Chief Dies From Lung Failure

    MA District Chief Dies From Lung Failure

    Courtesy of The Herald News

    FALL RIVER -- Black bunting is being draped and flags are flying at half-staff at all Fall River fire stations today in honor of District Fire Chief Gerald Nadeau, who died early Thursday morning, a victim of acute respiratory distress syndrome. Nadeau, 51, died at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence at 4:30 a.m.

    He apparently began feeling ill after the Orange Street fire Sept. 19 that tore through a three-story house leaving nine families homeless, said Fire Chief Edward J. Dawson.

    Nadeau was taken to Charlton Memorial Hospital sometime this month and was later transferred to Rhode Island Hospital on Oct. 18, where he spent his final days attempting to overcome his illness, Dawson said.

    "His lungs just shut down on him," Dawson said. "He struggled to overcome his condition, but ultimately passed on."

    The death is being classified as a "line of duty" death since he became ill due to the numerous fires he helped to extinguish.

    A Fire Department funeral has been set for Tuesday, Dawson said.

    No church or funeral home has been named, but more details will be forthcoming today.

    Dawson said the fire union and the Fire Department are working together to provide any support needed by Nadeau's family.

    "We are working collaboratively to coordinate with the family to assure all their wishes are fulfilled," Dawson said.

    Nadeau had served as the district fire chief at Center Station on Bedford Street since July 1993.

    Nadeau, who was the brother of former New Bedford Fire Chief Roger Nadeau, was first appointed to the department in June 1977. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 1983 and was later promoted to captain in February 1984.

    He served as captain for nine years before finally being promoted to the position of district chief. He also served as a hazardous material technician for the state's emergency response team.

    He lived in Somerset with his wife and children, Dawson said.

    Dawson described Nadeau as an excellent firefighter who was very well-liked by all firefighters in the department.

    "I always found him to be very dedicated and sensitive to the needs of others," Dawson said. "He cared about the community and about his fellow firefighters.

    "We are all proud to have served with him. He will be missed by everyone at this department," Dawson said.

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Nadeau, Gerald W.

    Age: 51
    Rank: District Fire Chief
    Status: Career
    Incident Date: 09/19/2002
    Incident Time:
    Death Date: 10/24/2002

    Cause of Death: Exposure
    Nature of Death: Illness
    Emergency Duty: Yes
    Duty Type: Fireground Operations
    Activity Type: Incident Command
    Fixed Prop. Use: Residential

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Fall River Fire Department
    755 Pine St
    Fall River, Massachusetts 02720
    Chief: Edward J. Dawson

    Initial Summary:
    While working as incident commander at a major structure fire under heavy smoke conditions on 09/19/2002, Chief Nadeau suffered inhalation of toxic and noxious gases and fumes. He complained of breathing difficulties and visited medical professionals for care. The condition worsened and he was admitted to the hospital where he died of acute respiratory distress syndrome.

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