A long-serving volunteer firefighter who died at the scene of a blaze near Bendigo has been remembered as a selfless man.

Peter Harry, 48, had been a volunteer with the Country Fire Authority (CFA) for nearly 30 years.

The married father-of-two collapsed and died while retrieving equipment from a truck at the scene of a fire at Gisborne on Saturday night.

It is not known what caused his death.

Mr Harry's brother-in-law, Peter Morris, says he will be remembered as an honourable man.

"This is what we've lost today, a guy who is a good bloke," he said.

"He epitomised the spirit of volunteerism, because he would drop whatever he was doing at any time of the day or night to help others."

Mr Morris says the family is shocked by the loss.

"What 48-year-old volunteer goes out, who's perfectly healthy, to help fight a fire which he's done hundreds of times, and doesn't come home under these circumstances?" he said.

"To say we are in shock is an understatement.

"We can't believe what has happened."

Firefighters had been battling a house fire in Brantome Street just before midnight on Saturday.

The fire took about an hour to bring under control.

When Mr Harry collapsed, colleagues attempted first aid and an ambulance was called, but he was unable to be revived.

CFA chief officer Euan Ferguson says the organisation is providing support to the family and the brigade.

"CFA is saddened by this loss and our deepest sympathies are with the firefighter's family, his friends and colleagues," he said.

"We also extend our deep sympathies to the members of the Gisborne fire brigade.

"We will be doing everything we can to support them during this difficult time.

"We will also support his colleagues across CFA."

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