The fire captain of a New Hampshire town has died after falling ill during a recent physical test.
On Monday, Steve Tower, 54, who served as a captain for the Goffstown Fire Department, was completing a physical test at the New Hampshire Fire Academy in the nearby town of Concord when he fell ill and was taken to the hospital where he died, according to a press release.
“On-scene firefighters and paramedics immediately rendered aid and Concord Fire Department transported him to Concord Hospital where he later died,” the release from the New Hampshire Department of Safety said, adding that the department is currently investigating Tower’s death.
State Gov. Chris Sununu also issued a statement following the tragic news.
“The passing of Captain Steven Tower of the Goffstown Fire Department earlier today is a tragic loss for the Goffstown community and the Granite State,” Sununu wrote on Twitter Monday. "My sincere condolences and prayers are with Captain Tower's family and the entire team at the Goffstown Fire Department.”
Tower served 30 years in the Goffstown Fire Department before retiring from his role and working at the archery counter at a Bass Pro Shops, according to the New Hampshire Union Ledger. In 2019, however, the veteran firefighter was asked to return as interim fire chief while the department searched for a permanent chief.
“I asked him why he was going back, and he said it was the right thing to do for the department,” Darrell Glencross, who worked with Tower at Bass Pro Shops, said.
When Brian Allard was named the new chief, Tower stayed on. “It seems like you want to come out of retirement,” Allard recalled telling Tower at the time.
Tower was in the process of getting recertified for his old job as fire captain when he fell ill at the fire academy on Monday.
“He was one of my early mentors. Not only me, but probably hundreds of firefighters across New Hampshire,” Allard told the Union Ledger. “He would take them, myself included, under his wing and show them the expectations of becoming a firefighter.”
“It wasn’t about him, it was all about everyone else. He never reflected much on himself, he wanted to share his knowledge and make everyone else better,” he continued. “He was just a wonderful asset to this community, and this organization.”
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