Alaska Fire Captain Dies During Training Exercise

The Anchorage Fire Department chief says a 51-year-old fire captain collapsed and died after participating in what was described as a routine but strenuous training activity.

Chief Chris Bushue told a Friday afternoon news conference that Jeff Bayless collapsed earlier in the day. Crews immediately began treating him and he was taken to a hospital, where he died.

The Anchorage Daily News reports the 19-year fire department veteran had completed his training exercise before he collapsed.

Fire officials say about 20 firefighters participated in the annual training that required them to dress in full gear, wearing an air mask and tank. They had to walk through a parking lot, up six flights of stairs and back down.

Officials said the cause of death was not immediately known.