NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - The North Charleston Fire Department has issued a statement following the death of an off-duty firefighter in a late-night crash Thursday.
Firefighter Edward "E.J." Mascaro, 34, was killed when the vehicle he was driving collided with a tractor-trailer on Palmetto Commerce Parkway, North Charleston spokesman Ryan Johnson said.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Firefighter Mascaro who was a beloved member of our department," North Charleston Fire Chief Gregory Bulanow said. " I'm very proud of our crews who responded to this incident and continued working with the highest level of professionalism after recognizing that a victim was one of our own. We offer our deepest condolences to the Mascaro family."
"I offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of Firefighter Mascaro. Edward was a cherished member of the North Charleston Fire Department and a friend to many. He will truly be missed," North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said.
The North Charleston Fire Department responded to the incident and used rescue equipment to remove the vehicle that was partially pinned under the tractor-trailer, Johnson said. After removing the vehicle and initiating patient care they recognized Mascaro as a member of the department and continued patient care until all of the victims were extricated and treated for injuries, he said.
Mascaro, a native of Pennsylvania, had been with the department since August 2015 and had previously served as a firefighter with the City of Charleston after having served in the U.S. Army in Iraq, Johnson said. Mascaro was pronounced dead at the scene.
His passenger, an off-duty City of Charleston firefighter was injured in the accident, according to a Charleston Fire Department spokesman. He was being treated at an area hospital.
Another passenger, an off-duty City of Hanahan firefighter was also injured in the accident, according to City of Hanahan Fire Chief Joseph "Bo" Bowers.
"We don't expect to get calls early in the morning by saying one of your firefighters had been involved in an accident," Bowers said. He said his firefighter was released from the hospital after treatment for a concussion.
According to Bowers, all three men were roommates and were apparently on their way home at the time of the accident. He said he knew Mascaro personally and said he was very knowledgable.
"A huge loss for the area, a huge loss for the brotherhood of the fire service," Bowers said. "It's a big ordeal when it affects one of our own."
The two-car crash closed the road from Patriot Boulevard to Ladson Road Thursday just before midnight.
Troopers with the South Carolina Highway Patrol say Mascaro's SUV was heading down Palmetto commerce parkway when the 18 wheeler turned left from a private driveway. The SUV hit the rear left of the big rig on the driver's side and went under it.
At 4:30 a.m., Charleston County dispatchers said the road had been reopened.
The identities of the two injured firefighters have not been released.