A cadet firefighter who died during a training exercise may have been over-keen to prove himself, Chief Fire Officer Lau Shu-lam told an inquest yesterday. Allan Ng Lai-kwong, 34, collapsed inside a smoke-filled simulator on July 10, 1997, and died in hospital the next morning from heat stroke. Mr Lau said Ng, who has been hailed by colleagues as 'energetic, brave and courageous', might have been pushing himself too far. 'I think he was too keen to accomplish his task. This sense overcame his principle to follow his partner,' he said. Ng's partner, Wong Ka-hung, had found 60 degrees Celsius unbearable and told Ng he had to leave. Previously, another trainee had left the room several times complaining of the heat, but was sent back in by the instructor who said it was essential to build confidence, the court heard. 'All the danger we were aware of was the heat and the smoke which was coming from burning wood. There were no toxic gases,' Mr Lau said. In the 20 years the simulator had been in use, Ng was the first fatality out of 5,663 trainees. He was equipped with an oxygen tank during the exercise which was found to be empty when he was discovered. Coroner Alison Thompson will return her verdict on February 12.