HAMILTON (Atlantic County) — A volunteer firefighter was killed Christmas morning as she was on her way to report to a call.

The crash happened around 6:20 a.m. on Landis Avenue, according to Hamilton Township police. The driver was identified as Natalie N. Dempsey, 21, of Mays Landing. Dempsey was a member and vice president of the Mizpah Volunteer Fire Company, according to a Facebook post from the department.

By Tuesday afternoon the post had more than 200 comments of condolences for Dempsey. While funeral arrangements have not yet been announced, the fire department said Dempsey's death is being treated as a line of duty death, and she will receive full honors at the funeral.

According to NJ.com, Dempsey crashed on her way to respond to a fire call when she lost control and went off the road. Members of the department were returning from a fire call when they stopped to help local police at the scene of the crash, not knowing it was one of their own, according to the website.

Chief Jay Davenport told NJ.com that when he realized whose car it was it "smashed my heart out." He told the website that Dempsey had been a volunteer with the company for three years and had just passed her Firefighter 1 certification.


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