QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. (AP) -- Queen Creek officials say one of the town's fire captains died in his sleep at one of the fire stations.

Capt. Eric Tinkham was last seen alive Friday night and when his crew members tried to wake him at 7 a.m. Saturday, they say he was unresponsive.

Tinkham was one of the original firefighters hired by the town when the department began operation on New Year's Day 2008.

He had worked as a firefighter for 24 years.

Town officials say all Queen Creek firefighters were sent home Saturday and Gilbert and Mesa fire departments were manning the stations.

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Information from: East Valley Tribune/Scottsdale Tribune, http://www.eastvalleytribune.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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My Thoughts and prayers to the family and department personal.
My thoughts and prayers are with Capt. Eric Tinkham's family and fellow firefighters
Deepest sympathies to the family and members. RIP Brother.
My thought's and prayer's go out to Capt. Tinkham's family and to his firehouse personal he worked with !
Go with the angels my friend
Our thoughts and prayers to the family, friends and co-workers of Capt. Eric Tinkham. From all of us at the Concordia Fire Department here in Kansas.
Condolences to Captain Tinkham's family and fellow firefighters, may he rest in peace.
thoughts and prayer are with all involved
may peace be with u, my thoughts and prayers go out to capt tinkhams family and the fire dept he was with,
i would like to say i am sorry for the death of capt Eric Tinkham i will pray for his famiy god bless them all

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