Quincy mourns death of Firefighter John Austin; collapsed at firehouse on Monday

Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch said today the city is “deeply saddened’’ by the death of Quincy Firefighter John Austin, who collapsed and died in a fire house on Monday.

“Our entire community is deeply saddened by the loss of Firefighter Austin,’’ Koch said in a statement released today by his office. “It is a sad day for the City of Quincy.’’

Koch described Austin as a “hard-working, respected, and well-liked young man from a wonderful Quincy family.’’

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Austin, who was 37, collapsed in the Copeland Street fire house on Monday around 3:16 p.m. He was rushed to Quincy Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The state medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy to determine cause of death, officials said.

A spokesman for the Quincy Fire Department was not immediately available today.

In his statement, Koch expressed his sympathy to the fallen firefighter’s family.

“My deepest sympathies and prayers are with his mom and dad, Lillian and John, his immediate family and his family in the Quincy Fire Department as they begin to cope with this heartbreaking loss,’’ Koch said in the statement.

Austin’s death will be treated as a line of duty death, and the city has already lowered flags to half-staff in Austin’s memory, officials said.