West Virginia firefighter’s death ruled accidental overdose

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia firefighter’s death last month has been ruled an accidental overdose, authorities said.

Charleston Police Chief James “Tyke” Hunt said at a news conference Tuesday that fentanyl and xylazine were found in firefighter Jason Cuffee’s system, news outlets reported. Xylazine is an animal tranquilizer.

Police are investigating the July 20 death, Hunt said. Cuffee, 27, was on duty when he did not answer a call to service. Hunt said investigators are looking for those responsible for giving the drugs to Cuffee.

Cuffee was a five-year member of the fire department. It was the department’s first on-duty death since 1980. Cuffee was an all-state football and basketball player at Poca High School.

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