LINCOLN, Neb. — Lincoln city officials say the family of a 50-year-old firefighter who died while off-duty is entitled to line-of-duty benefits.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Matthew Vonderfecht died of a heart attack at his home on Aug. 24. Lincoln Fire and Rescue Chief Micheal Despain said Monday the death will qualify for a line-of-duty designation under state law and city ordinance.

Family members of firefighters and police officers who die in the line of duty may receive pension benefits under state law.

Despain says firefighter deaths from cancer, cardiac and lung issues are presumed to be in the line of duty in Nebraska because such problems are more prevalent in firefighters than in the general population.

Vonderfecht spent 21 years with the department. He was on vacation when he died.

Information from: Lincoln Journal Star,

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