HOUSTON A volunteer Atascocita firefighter who was severely injured during a training drill was removed from life support Monday evening, department spokesman Charlie Crocker said.

Cpt. Neal Smith, 46, died at about 6:30 p.m. at Baptist Beaumont Hospital. He was surrounded by family.

The fire chief said Smith was part of the event at their training grounds in Beaumont on Saturday. During the final part of the smoke-diving drill, he passed out inside the smoke house.

Captain Smith was transported from the field with CPR in progress, said Deputy Chief Mike Mulligan, with the Atascocita Volunteer Fire Department. They regained pulses on the way to the hospital.

Doctors would later determine that Smith s body temperature had soared to over 106 degrees.

Neal, an 8-year veteran of the department, received Certificate of Appreciation for service during hurricane Ike and Fire Fighter of the Month on two separate occasions.

It feels like one of my personal family members is gone, Mulligan said. There s someone I m not going to see anymore.

The State Fire Marshal s Office is heading up the official investigation.

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