A New Jersey firefighter died and at least three others were injured in a house fire in Plainfield, authorities said.
Marques Hudson was among the firefighters called to the 8 a.m. Friday blaze in a home across the street from Emerson Elementary School, officials said. About 10 people were inside and all got out without injuries, a Plainfield spokesperson said.
Officials said other firefighters retrieved Hudson from inside after an emergency was called. He died at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. At least three other firefighters were taken to the hospital for injuries said not to be life-threatening.
Mayor Adrian Mapp told reporters at a news conference that Hudson “either fell through the floor or fell down the stairs.” Officials did not release further details about the circumstances, citing an active investigation.
The mayor said Hudson’s death had brought “unimaginable sorrow” to those close to him, and he called the day the worst in his 10 years as Plainfield’s top elected official.
“He was not merely a firefighter — he embodied the very essence of heroism, putting the lives of others before his own, a testament to his unwavering commitment and courage,” Plainfield officials said in a statement.
Gov. Phil Murphy said he would sign an executive order calling for flags to be lowered to half-staff in Hudson’s honor.
“The tragic loss of this courageous young man is a reminder of the great risks our firefighters face every day in the line of duty,” Murphy said in a statement. “We owe a debt of gratitude to all of the brave firefighters, like Firefighter Marques Hudson, who serve our state.”