SOUTH AMBOY - A longtime New Jersey firefighter has died after he collapsed while directing traffic at an emergency scene.

South Amboy officials say 70-year-old Gerald Celecki was among those who responded to a report of a natural gas odor at a city home on Wednesday.

Celecki was directing a fire truck that was about to back up at the scene. But when the driver realized he couldn't see Celecki, he stopped the truck and got out.

The driver found Celecki face down in the street, and firefighters tried to revive him before he was taken to a hospital, but he was pronounced dead there a short time later.

Celecki had served as a firefighter for almost 50 years and was chief of the Middlesex County Fire Police.