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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 September 2006, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Firefighter dies answering call
A firefighter has died after collapsing in his fire engine while answering an emergency call.

Colleagues battled to save Mick Bird, 43, after he fell ill in his engine in the early hours of Sunday. He was taken to hospital but later died.

It is understood the father-of-two from Leicestershire suffered a heart attack.

A retained firefighter with 21 years of service, he will be "deeply missed" by work mates, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said.

'Incredible enthusiasm'

Steve Young, watch manager at Shepshed fire station, said: "Mick was a true professional, dedicated to serving his community, he will leave a void within our station and will be sadly missed by us all."

Mr Bird's widow, Angela, said she had been devastated by her husband's sudden death.

The retained firefighter worked at the Dunlop factory in Shepshed and was the youngest of 12 brothers and sisters.

He leaves a daughter Tanya, 15, and son Danny, 12.

Former retained firefighter Dennis Pollard, who worked with Mr Bird for more than 10 years, said: "Mick's enthusiasm for being a firefighter was incredible. Nine times out of ten he was always the first to the station on a call.

"He moved across town to be closer to the station. One jump across a fence and he was there. It meant he always got to drive."

Mr Bird will have a funeral with full firefighters' honours at St Botolph's Church, Shepshed, on 6 October.

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