Newark – A 49-year-old fire captain was being remembered as a dedicated first responder and father, as Essex County authorities said his cause of death was not yet confirmed on Monday.

Carlos Rivera, of Sayreville, was found unresponsive Saturday morning inside the Newark firehouse of Engine 15 Ladder 7 at 269 Park Ave.

He was found alongside a retired firefighter who was also unconscious, according to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens.

That man, whose identity was not disclosed, was released from the hospital.

"Our Thoughts and Prayers are with the members and Family of the Newark Fire Department.. May Captain Carlos Rivera Rest In Peace 🙏🙏🙏," a Facebook post from the East Newark Fire Department said Sunday.

"Our hearts are heavy. We will always remember Captain Carlos Rivera as a great fireman and not only that but a great leader, a true gentleman, and a great friend to many of us," another Facebook post, from the Hispanic Firefighters Association of Newark NJ, said on Sunday.

On Sunday, NBC New York reported that Rivera's death had been an apparent overdose, citing unnamed law enforcement sources. The same report said that the retired firefighter who was also found unconscious had brought a controlled substance with him to the firehouse late Friday. Authorities, however, have not publicly confirmed this report.

Stephens said there were no preliminary signs of violence at the scene and the cause and manner of Rivera's death were pending autopsy results.

Newark Fire Captain Carlos Rivera (Google Maps, Carlos Rivera via Facebook)
Newark Fire Captain Carlos Rivera (Google Maps, Carlos Rivera via Facebook)

"Please keep his family, his daughter, his friends, his crew, the Park Ave guys, as a matter of fact all of us in the NFD in your thoughts and prayers while we go through this. We are all family," the Hispanic Firefighters Association post also said.


LOOK: Food history from the year you were born

From product innovations to major recalls, Stacker researched what happened in food history every year since 1921, according to news and government sources.

7 things NJ should ban right now

Update: NJ arrests in Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot

A year later, more than 20 people from New Jersey have been charged with involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM