Firefighter Timothy Gunther, 54, died from cardiac related issues he experienced while fighting a fatal fire Monday morning in the City of Poughkeepsie.

Before joining the department, he had been an English Teacher and was also a Hudson Valley playwright, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Gunther's is the City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department's first death in the line of duty since 1971, officials said.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.