EVESHAM — A South Jersey fire company is mourning the sudden death of one of its veteran volunteers.

Joseph Bichler, 66, passed away Monday morning after experiencing a heart attack in his driveway. The fatal heart attack happened a day after he responded to two calls, Evesham Fire-Rescue announced Wednesday.

The department responded to his home and performed CPR before he was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, a division of FEMA. The cause of death was listed as stress and overexertion.

Mayor Randy Brown called Bichler's death "stunning and shocking." He said Bichler had just returned from a vacation in Hawaii and remembered him as "a first-class guy who always had a smile on his face and gave many, many years of service to the community." Brown said Bichler enjoyed being part of the township's Fourth of July celebration and other events in town.

In a Facebook post, the department said Bichler mentored many members and helped recruit volunteers. He was still riding weekly duty crews on fire or EMS vehicles.

"It shows just how precious life is on a daily basis," Brown said. "You just don't know."

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