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Firefighter dies while responding to blaze in Plainfield, N.J.

New Jersey firefighter dies battling house fire in Union County
New Jersey firefighter dies battling house fire in Union County 02:36

PLAINFIELD, N.J. - A Plainfield firefighter died responding to a house fire Friday. 

Firefighter Marques Hudson, 32, is being remembered as a hero and dedicated public servant who devoted his life to serving others. He joined the Plainfield Fire Department less than two years ago, and Friday morning was his final call to duty.

Hudson arrived to battle the house fire at 332 Emerson Ave. at 8 a.m., and within 30 minutes, the call came in that he was injured.

"He either fell through the floor or fell down the stairs, and we don't know the circumstances at this time ... There was a mayday that went out, and once that happened, four firefighters went in and got him out within anywhere from two to four minutes," Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp said.

Hudson was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors worked on him for over an hour, but their best effort couldn't save him.

Watch Nick Caloway's report

Firefighter Marques Hudson killed while battling house fire in Plainfield 02:13

"This is the worst day of my life since assuming the office of mayor in the city of Plainfield," Mapp said.

Officials say this is the first time in the city's history that a firefighter died in the line of duty. The beloved firefighter grew up in the city and leaves behind a family, including three children.

"Today, I lost someone who was under my direct charge, and I cannot convey the words of how I feel and I'm sure his brother firefighters feel at this time. We've suffered a great loss today, and the city suffered a great loss," Plainfield Fire Director Kenneth Childress said. 

Officials haven't released many details about the fire, including what caused it, but the profound loss of one of Plainfield's bravest is sure to be felt for some time. 

"Today, we are not just a city in mourning. We are a family grappling with an irreplaceable loss," Mapp said. 

News conference on death of Plainfield Firefighter Marques Hudson

Firefighter Marques Hudson killed battling fire in Plainfield, NJ 13:39

"Tammy and I send our deepest condolences to the family of Plainfield Firefighter Marques Hudson, who passed away early this morning after succumbing to injuries he sustained while fighting a house fire on Emerson Avenue. The tragic loss of this courageous young man is a reminder of the great risks our firefighters face every day in the line of duty. We owe a debt of gratitude to all of the brave firefighters, like Firefighter Marques Hudson, who serve our state," Gov. Phil Murphy said. "I will sign an executive order lowering our flags to half-staff in Marques' honor."    

Three other firefighters are also being treated at the hospital. Their injuries are not considered to be life-threatening.

"This is just a stark reminder -- every day when the men and women of the New Jersey fire service don our gear, this is a reality that is in the back of our minds. Every day, every time," said Ed Donnelly, with the New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association.

The state Division of Fire Safety will investigate. 

As for the two-family home, all of the residents escaped without injury. The Red Cross is assisting six of them with temporary shelter, food and other necessities.

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