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‘Heroic leader and firefighter': N.J. veteran dies a day after suffering heart attack on duty

Former Chief Jeff M. Pfeiffer served with the Deptford Fire Department for 50 years and was an organ donor


Photo/Gloucester County Hero Scholarship Fund

By Leila Merrill

DEPTFORD, N.J. — Deptford Firefighter Jeff M. Pfeiffer, 66, died on Friday, a day after he suffered a heart attack while returning from a call, the U.S. Fire Administration announced.

Pfeiffer, who had served as chief of the department for 17 years, responded to a smoke investigation call, but no fire or smoke was found. On the way back to the station, he began to cough.

His cough worsened, and EMS providers transported Pfeiffer to a hospital where he remained in critical condition.

On Friday, Pfeiffer showed no signs of brain activity, and his family decided to take him off life support. Pfeiffer was an organ donor.

Pfeiffer served with the Deptford department for 50 years, according to a statement. He also served as fire chief for the Almonesson Lake Fire Company and had retired as a battalion chief in January 2022.

The Deptford Fire Department described Pfeiffer as a “wonderful and heroic leader and firefighter.”

“The tragic passing of Past Chief Jeff M. Pfeiffer reminds us of all the inherent dangers of our profession. We are grateful to our firefighter brothers and sisters, Gloucester County EMS, lnspira paramedics and to the hospital staff for their valiant attempts to save Jeff M. Pfeiffer,” the Deptford Fire Department stated.