CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- An eastern Kanawha County firefighter died after suffering a medical emergency while responding to a fire in Sissonville, officials said.
Firefighters were battling a blaze Monday afternoon on Happy Hollow Road in Sissonville when one of their own collapsed, Kanawha County Fire Coordinator C.W. Sigman said.
The mobile home was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived just after 2:30 p.m. No one was inside, he said.
Sigman said Malden firefighters automatically responded with Sissonville and that Tyler Mountain also came to help.
A Malden firefighter, who was later identified as John Appleton, 62, arrived with the department's engine. The plan was to use the engine to help haul water, but a water tanker from Yeager Airport was already at the scene so the truck wasn't needed, Sigman said.
Appleton, who also serves as pastor at Kanawha Salines Presbyterian Church in Malden, is a friend of Sigman's. He said they exchanged greetings at the scene and that Appleton started to walk up a short, but steep, hill to fire crews to find out what was needed.
"He said he maybe felt overheated and sat down in a shady spot," Sigman said. "The paramedics came over and took him to a cool spot, a rehabilitation area with water and Gatorade to cool down. Next thing we knew he'd gone into cardiac arrest."
Medics worked to try to revive Appleton as they rushed him to Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital.