Surrey Fire and Rescue have not confirmed the cause of death of firefighter Clifford Cox, despite reports he suffered a heart attack while on duty in Staines.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Simon Moore said:
We can confirm a firefighter has died at the station but he was not on a call at the time. The circumstances of his death have not been established. We are saddened and upset by this tragic news and our thoughts are with his family and colleagues at this very difficult time.
BBC News reports that FF Cox is believed to have died following a heart attack.
Mr Cox, 53, who was known as "Biff", died at around 6pm after collapsing at the fire station, the Surrey branch of the Fire Brigades Union said.Colleagues tried to resuscitate him but were unable to save him.Richard Jones, the brigade branch secretary, said:
Biff was a lovable character with a larger than life personality. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by his colleagues. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.
It is with profound regret that I have to inform you of the death of Firefighter Clifford Cox at Staines Fire Station earlier this evening. We are deeply saddened and upset by this tragic news and our thoughts are with his family, friends and close colleagues at this very difficult time.
FF Cox was based at Staines Fire Station on Green Watch, having served in Surrey for nearly 25 years. He will be greatly missed by the Service and his colleagues.
This is understandably a very difficult time for all, particularly in light of the on-going major incident and the demands placed on all staff.
Welfare arrangements are in place for the crews of both Staines and Sunbury who were involved.