Cumberland Fire loses one of its own

Cumberland Fire loses one of its own

Christopher Borges

CUMBERLAND – Members of the Cumberland Fire Department are mourning the loss of a member of their ranks, after 19-year veteran firefighter Christopher Borges died in his sleep on Aug. 30.

Cumberland Fire District Chairwoman Cynthia Ouellette and Fire Chief Kenneth Finlay expressed “deep regret” at the unexpected loss of Borges. Fire personnel weren’t speculating on the cause of death, saying a full autopsy was to be conducted.

Borges, 54, began his career with the Cumberland Fire Department on Jan. 5, 1999, and was assigned to Ladder 1, first platoon at Station 2 in Ashton. He was scheduled to work on Aug. 30 but had not reported for duty. When there was no response to phone calls, colleagues went to his home and started knocking and calling for Borges. They and Cumberland police entered his home and discovered he had died in his sleep.

“Chris was a dedicated firefighter, and also an avid classic car enthusiast,” said Ouellette and Finlay in their statement. “He could often be found with other Cumberland firefighters at car shows in the area. His passing will leave a void in the fire department, the community and the hearts of his brother firefighters.”

Lt. Chris Smith said Borges was well liked in the department, and he and others in the department were shocked and saddened by the loss. Borges largely kept to himself, said Smith, but always showed up for work and could be relied on to do his job well.

Borges lived most of his life in Cumberland. The career firefighter previously serving as a call firefighter and part-time firefighter for the CFD and former Ashton Fire Department. He was a member of the Cumberland Firefighters Local 2722 of the I.A.F.F.

According to his obituary, Borges enjoyed attending a local Friday night Cruise Night at the McDonald’s on Mendon Road in Cumberland for many years. He had a passion for Dodge cars, especially any equipped with a Hemi motor. He enjoyed going for rides in his Plymouth Barracuda, as well as drag racing his Plymouth Duster. He also enjoyed fishing, motorcycles, and spending time with family and friends.

Family and friends are invited to a life celebration to be held next Monday, Sept. 10, with visiting hours from 5 to 8 p.m. at the J. J. Duffy Funeral Home, 757 Mendon Road, Cumberland. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held next Tuesday Sept. 11, at 10 a.m. in St. Aidan-St. Patrick Church, 1460 Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland. Burial will follow in Resurrection Cemetery, Cumberland. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cumberland Firefighters Local 2722 Scholarship Fund, 7 Cray St., Cumberland, RI 02864.