A Columbia firefighter had died after trying to help evacuate University of Missouri students from their apartments after a second-story walkway collapsed.

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A firefighter who was killed while helping evacuate a University of Missouri-run apartment complex after a walkway collapsed has been identified as a 23-year veteran of the Columbia Fire Department.

The department says Lt. Bruce Britt was taken to a local hospital Saturday, where he was pronounced dead.

Firefighters were called to University Village Apartments in the central Missouri town just after 4 a.m. Saturday. No residents were injured, but student Ghazwan Alway says he saw the firefighter fall while walking on a part of the balcony that was hanging down.

The apartment complex was built in 1956.

During the evacuation, some second-floor residents had to climb down a ladder out of their windows. They were told it could be hours or even days before they could retrieve their belongings.

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