Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department mourns firefighter who died in line of duty

Michael Freeland died while working a crash early Thursday morning.

DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. — The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department is mourning the loss of one of its own.

JFRD Chief Keith Powers announced the tragic death of Michael L. Freeland during a news conference.

Freeland was working to free a woman from a crash involving a U-Haul truck and a light pole around 1 a.m. on Thursday. The woman was rescued, but when Freeland stepped out of the back of the U-Haul, he collapsed.

Life-saving personnel from JFRD, as well as UF Health, gave him advanced life support care, but he was ultimately pronounced deceased.

It is unclear what led to his death, but JFRD received reports about a downed power line by the crash that may have been a factor. A medical examiner will determine the cause of his death.

Freeland worked with JFRD for several years and was an engineer for two years. He was 36 years old.

This is the third line-of-duty death since June, Powers announced.

Action News Jax reported in June when Captain Tom Barber died after 21 years with the department.

In August, the department announced the death Lt. Mario J. Moya, who died from COVID-19.