GISBORNE is in shock after the death of a “local hero” who died fighting a fire yesterday morning.
Volunteer firefighter Peter Harry died from a heart attack about 1.30am after he was putting out a house fire at Brantome Street, Gisborne.
Mr Harry was found unconscious by fellow CFA members outside the house after he went to retrieve a portable light.
Volunteer and paramedics performed CPR but were unable to revive the 48-year-old.
The volunteer firefighter for almost 30 years is survived by wife Leanne and two daughters, Alyssia, 19, and Tegan, 16.
Family friend Laura Paterson from Paterson’s Telegraph Hotel described the feeling around the town as “low”.
“The town is in shock. He was such a good man and a well-known local.
“It’s just a shock to lose anyone at such a young age and so quickly.”
Ms Paterson described a fit and happy man who was an integral part of the Gisborne community.
“He was always there for anyone and quite often was out lending a helping hand.
“On behalf of the Paterson’s Telegraph Hotel and the Gisborne community, we want to send our deepest thoughts and love to Peter Harry’s family after the loss of Peter Harry, local hero.”
CFA chief executive officer Mick Bourke said the Gisborne Fire Brigade was devastated at the death of the “vital, talented and popular member of the Gisborne Brigade”.
“Lieutenant Peter Harry epitomised what it means to be a CFA volunteer and member,” he said.
“He will be deeply missed by all.”
Mr Bourke said the CFA would be offering support to Mr Harry’s family and the brigade.
“We will be doing everything we can to support them during this difficult time.”
A coroner will carry out a report to determine the cause of death.
The cause of the fire is being investigated by the CFA and Energy Safe Victoria.