A firefighter who died battling a blaze in Union Beach lost his own home in Superstorm Sandy, and had just moved into a rebuilt home last week.

Fire on Union Avenue in Union Beach (Monmouth County Police, Fire & EMS Facebook page)

Robert Meyer was a member of Union Hose Fire Co. #1 in Union Beach. The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office says Meyer had left the burning building and collapsed outside of it Sunday evening. NBC 4 New York reports Meyer had made several trips in and out of the Hydrair warehouse during the evening.

An unidentified firefighter told the Asbury Park Press he was "devastaed" by Meyer's death and "I lost my best friend in the whole world."

Meyer was also a member of Belford Engine firefighters which shared their grief on their Facebook page. "There are no words to say other than Bob was one of the good ones who done a lot for Station 3,"

An autopsy is pending, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Fire officials were taking photographs of electrical wiring outside the hydraulics shop that burned and will release more information about the fire later Monday afternoon.

Bar owner Gigi Liaguno-Dorr says Meyer would sometimes bring flowers to people to cheer them up. She says the town, still struggling to recover from the 2012 storm, has suffered another major loss.

The Asbury Park Press reports Meyer was the recipient of a Carnegie medal for Heroism for helping to rescue a man from a dump truck that burst into flames after an accident.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.