Al Nejmeh collapsed and died of heart failure while trying to save someone else's life Tuesday morning at a local senior community.
After he collapsed, the 59-year old was taken to St. Joseph Medical center, where he died just before noon.
"It was really a struggle to see some of your other members come back from the hospital and people from off-shift coming. That was very difficult for me and a lot of other people," said Capt. Steve Collins with the Tacoma Fire Department.
Outside of the fire service, Nejmeh was known for adventure, and his friends joke that he was the most interesting man in the world. They say he loved traveling, the outdoors, art, cycling and music.
"Al was a well-loved and well-regarded Tacoma Firefighter," Fire Chief Jim Duggan said in news release."As a member of our technical rescue team, he continued to hone his craft and teach it to others. He lived a genuine and deliberate life. We will miss him."
Nejmeh was a 12-year veteran in the department.