Firefighter dies at scene of suspicious Elizabeth fire

A veteran firefighter died in the line of duty Friday at the scene of a suspicious fire in Elizabeth. Firefighter Gary Stephens, 57, died when he was accidentally struck by a fire truck. Stephens was

News 12 Staff

Jan 3, 2009, 12:07 AM

Updated 5,680 days ago

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A veteran firefighter died in the line of duty Friday at the scene of a suspicious fire in Elizabeth.
Firefighter Gary Stephens, 57, died when he was accidentally struck by a fire truck. Stephens was a 28-year veteran of the Elizabeth Fire Department.
?Stephens was directing the firetruck and turned around to notice something on the fire and the firetruck proceeded to backup, and he was killed,? Mayor Christian Bollwage says. Officials believe noise from the New Jersey Turnpike Bridge may have drowned out the backup warning beep from the fire truck.
Fire officials say the two-alarm fire broke out at around 2 a.m. on Marshall and 3rd and quickly spread to a second building.
A squatter accused of starting the fire in the vacant home has been charged with murdering Stephens. Emilio Vasquez, 19, allegedly admitted to police he started the fire to keep warm.Vasquez is being held on $650,000 bail.


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