Steve Neavling at MotorCityMucraker.com reports that Detroit Fire Department Capt. Walter Szelag died yesterday (Friday) afternoon after having an apparent heart attack while working at Fire Boat 1. The death comes a day after Detroit Fire Department Sgt. Vince Smith was found dead inside the quarters of Engine 48 (details further down).
Here are some details from MotorCityMuckraker.com on Capt. Szelag’s death:
“We need an ambulance here,” a firefighter radioed to dispatch. “It looks like I have a crew member with a heart attack.”
At 5:47 p.m., a dispatcher delivered the sad news to firefighters: “Central office regrets to inform you of the untimely death of Capt. Walter Szelag of Fire Boat 1.”
A Detroit firefighter and longtime veteran died last night while on duty.
Sgt. Vince Smith, a 24-year veteran with Detroit Fire died in his sleep at Engine 48, on Fort St near Marathon Oil refinery. Smith was assigned to DFD Ladder 13 but he was pulling a duty shift overnight at Engine 48.
“He had a special way that he saw life,” said Battalion Chief Steve Kirschner. “And it was catchy to people around him.”
Smith’s smile was contagious. At an often thankless job, he kept his buddies’ spirits up, anyway he could.