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Veteran firefighter fatally injured at 4-alarm fire in North Carolina

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Capt. Jeff Bowen succumbed to smoke and heat while fighting fire
  • Bowen went into cardiac arrest after his collapse
  • Eight other firefighters were injured fighting the fire

(CNN) -- A veteran North Carolina firefighter died Thursday after responding to a four-alarm fire in Asheville.

Capt. Jeff Bowen, 37, succumbed to intense smoke and heat while fighting the blaze in an office building, according to a press release from the city.

The 13-year veteran firefighter went into cardiac arrest afterward.

"We are devastated by the loss of our brother Jeff," said Fire Chief Scott Burnette. "He dedicated himself to protecting the people of Asheville, and this is a terrible tragedy for our city, for all of us in the Asheville Fire Department, and most importantly, for his wife Stacy. We are praying for her, and offer our deepest condolences to all who knew and loved him as we did. Jeff was a hero whose sacrifice will be forever honored."

Eight other firefighters were taken to hospitals to receive treatment for heat exposure, burns or other injuries.

The mayor has ordered flags at city buildings to be flown at half-mast to honor Bowen's memory, the statement said.

CNN's Joe Sutton contributed to this report.