Deceased firefighter with ties to North Texas

– The Texas Department of Public Safety is now investigating the death of volunteer firefighter Gregory Simmons.

Simmons, from Eastland County, had previously served in Sachse in Collin County. He grew up in Garland.

A preliminary autopsy report says he was killed by an accidental blow to his upper torso. One report says Simmons died after he jumped out of his truck when it was overcome by flames. Another said Simmons was overcome by smoke and fell in a ditch.

His former boss, Sachse Fire chief Doug Kendrick, said they nicknamed him Pudge and he'll be missed.

"When it hits home, it's just really devastating. To the fire department, to the community," said Kendrick.

Flags fly at half-staff and firefighters are covering their badges in black.