The chief of a small-town Massachusetts fire department is dead after collapsing from health problems while fighting a 2-alarm fire.

59-year-old Montgomery Fire Department Chief Stephen P. Fry collapsed fighting a fire late last Tuesday night and succumbed after being transported to the hospital.

“He was the best, he was the absolutely best, you couldn’t ask for a better person,” said a woman who identified herself as Frye’s sister-in-law. “He would give you give the shirt off his back. He was the best of the best of the best.”

Department of Fire Services spokeswoman Jennifer Mieth gave more in-depth information on the incident.

“Immediate aid was rendered by firefighters that were with him and the Hilltown Ambulance that was already on scene,” Mieth said in a statement. “He was transported to Bay State Noble Hospital in Westfield where he was pronounced dead.”

A member of MFD since 1993 and the chief for over 13 years, Mieth is survived by his wife, daughter and son, who incidentally is a member of the same volunteer department and was on-scene when his father collapsed.

“This is a small tight knit community and the fire department is like a second family to its members,” State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said. “I offer heartfelt condolences to the Frye family and the Montgomery and area fire departments on this devastating loss.”

According to the Boston Herald, Montgomery has a population of less than 1,000 residents.