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St. Paul firefighter collapses and dies at Snelling Avenue station

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A St. Paul firefighter collapsed and died Monday evening while on duty of an apparent heart attack, Fire Chief Tim Butler.

KSTP reports Shane Clifton, 38, collapsed at Station 14 on Snelling Avenue shortly after 5 p.m. and was later pronounced dead at Regions Hospital.

Clifton had been exercising and then said he wasn't feeling well; he collapsed a short time later. He was treated by other firefighters and medics at the scene before being taken to Regions, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

At a Monday evening news conference, Butler and Mayor Chris Coleman expressed their condolences to Clifton's family, according to the Pioneer Press.

"It is never easy when we lose someone that puts his life on the line on a daily basis, and works so hard to save others," Coleman said.

Clifton, a firefighter and paramedic, joined the St. Paul Fire Department in October 2007. The fire department said he was a Navy veteran, and he worked as an emergency department technician at Unity Hospital in Fridley and at Allina emergency medical services prior to joining the fire department.

Clifton's colleagues at Station 14 were sent home to be with their families, and their duties were covered by firefighters from other stations, according to the Pioneer Press.

Clifton is the first St. Paul firefighter to die in the line of duty since 2009.

Funeral services are pending.

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