See more of the story

Emergency responders raced to the scene of a single-vehicle crash in Lake City, Minn., early Tuesday and saw the badly injured driver was one of their own.

Off-duty firefighter Clayton Brandt, 41, died that same night in a Rochester hospital, his department said.

Police and fire personnel arrived about 12:20 a.m. and removed Brandt from the vehicle to get him to the hospital, a Fire Department statement said.

But at 7:18 p.m., Brandt “was pulled from life support and shortly after surrendered to his injuries,” the statement continued.

The department, staffed by volunteers in the Mississippi River city of roughly 5,000, is asking residents to change their porch lights to red in honor of the lifelong Lake City resident.

According to police:

Brandt was driving his pickup truck south in the 800 block of S. 6th Street, a residential area, where the vehicle left the road and struck a tree.

Police arrived and found the unconscious Brandt did not have on his seat belt. “It’s unknown if he was wearing it at the time of the crash and took it off before losing consciousness or if he wasn’t wearing it at all,” police Sgt. Bill Weist said.

Weist said toxicology test results are pending to determine whether alcohol played a role in the crash.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482