Montgomery fire chief collapses, dies battling blaze

  • Montgomery Chief Stephen Frye Submitted photo/Montgomery Fire Department

Associated Press
Wednesday, December 06, 2017

MONTGOMERY — The chief of a small town Massachusetts fire department has died while battling a house fire.

The state Fire Marshal’s office says Montgomery Chief Stephen Frye collapsed at the scene of the fire reported at about 11 p.m. Tuesday and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Montgomery is a town of fewer than 1,000 residents west of Springfield.

The cause of death remains under investigation.

Authorities say Frye had 17 years of service with the department, serving as chief for 13 years. Frye was 59 years old. He is survived by his wife, an adult son and adult daughter, all of whom live in Montgomery. His son is also a member of the fire department and had responded to the fire where his father collapsed. It is a volunteer fire department made up of members of the community serving their neighbors.

The fire started in the chimney from a wood stove and spread to the main structure. The residents, described as a woman and her adult son, were alerted by smoke alarms and escaped unharmed. The home is considered a total loss.

The cause is under investigation but preliminary findings indicate that it was accidental.