MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A firefighter died after he collapsed battling a house fire that started late Saturday night.
Memphis Fire responded to the 4500 block of Marigold Lane at about 11:30 p.m. and quickly brought the fire under control.
Lt. Rodney Eddins, 57, collapsed in the home during firefighting and overhaul procedures, Memphis Fire said. He was transported to Methodist South Hospital in critical condition but died soon after.
“Lt. Eddins was a man with integrity, one who was respected by many in this department and throughout the city of Memphis,” Memphis Fire Director Gina Sweat said. “This is a great loss to our department, and we want to let the family know we are here to support them.”
Eddins is married with one daughter, Sweat said. He also has two cousins who are fellow Memphis firefighters.
Eddins has been with Memphis Fire for 30 years, the department said. Eddins’ sister told Sweat he always wanted to be a firefighter, and it was his dream to serve the citizens of Memphis.
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“This just goes to show the strenuous amount of work that’s involved in being a firefighter and the wear and tear it can take on your body over the years,” Sweat said.
As a 30-year veteran, Eddins “has dedicated his life and his body to this department and the city of Memphis,” she said.
His cause of death is pending, which will determine whether this was a line-of-duty death.
Fire crews determined the blaze started from a malfunctioning portable fan in the bedroom. There was not a working smoke alarm in the house.
It was a routine fire, Sweat said.
The Red Cross provided assistance for two adults and four children at the home, but they were uninjured, according to Memphis Fire.
The house suffered about $50,000 of damage and about $20,000 of damage to its contents.
Mayor Jim Strickland offered his condolences:
“Melyne and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Lieutenant Rodney Eddins, a 30-year veteran of the Memphis Fire Department. We send our deepest condolences to the Eddins family and the Memphis Fire family at this time.”