- Associated Press - Saturday, January 21, 2017

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - North Charleston firefighters cutting free a vehicle pinned under a tractor trailer in a crash discovered they were trying to save one of their own.

A news release from North Charleston said off-duty 34-year-old firefighter E.J. Mascaro died at the scene of the crash late Thursday after being freed from the wreckage.

Mascaro had been a firefighter for North Charleston for 17 months after serving for the U.S. Army in Iraq.

North Charleston Fire Chief Gregory Bulanow says he was proud the professionalism his firefighters showed even after realizing the victim they were treating was a friend and colleague.

Authorities say two other people in Mascaro’s car were taken to the hospital. Their conditions weren’t updated. The driver of the 18-wheeler was not injured.

Troopers are investigating the crash.

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