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Quincy mourns firefighter who died at firehouse

Mayor Thomas Koch of Quincy said Tuesday that the city is mourning the death of firefighter John Austin, who collapsed and died in a firehouse.

“Our entire community is deeply saddened by the loss of Firefighter Austin,’’ Koch said in a statement released by his office. “It is a sad day for the city of Quincy.’’

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Koch described Austin as a “hard-working, respected, and well-liked young man from a wonderful Quincy family.’’

Austin, who was 37, collapsed in the Copeland Street firehouse Monday around 3:16 p.m.

He was taken to Quincy Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The state medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy to determine cause of death, officials said.

A spokesman for the Quincy Fire Department was not available for comment Tuesday.

“My deepest sympathies and prayers are with his mom and dad, Lillian and John, his immediate family, and his family in the Quincy Fire Department as they begin to cope with this heartbreaking loss,’’ Koch said in the statement.

Austin’s death will be treated as a line-of-duty death, and the city has lowered flags to half-staff in Austin’s memory, officials said.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@
. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.
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