The Latest: Fire chief suffers emergency at funeral, dies

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The Latest on the funeral services for a Maine firefighter who died in a March 1 blaze (all times local):

7:55 p.m.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills says a town fire chief has died after suffering a medical emergency at the funeral for a firefighter who was killed while shielding a colleague from flames.

Oxford Fire Chief Gary Sacco suffered the emergency and died Sunday as several thousand people, including hundreds of firefighters from across New England, gathered in Portland, Maine, to honor Berwick Fire Capt. Joel Barnes ‘ sacrifice. Barnes was fatally injured in a four-alarm fire earlier this month.

Maine Medical Center spokesman Matt Wickenheiser confirmed that Sacco was stricken at the funeral, rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead in the emergency room.

Mills says Sacco “lost his life while honoring that of his fallen brother.”

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6:15 p.m.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills says a town fire chief has died after attending the funeral of Berwick Fire Capt. Joel Barnes.

Mills says Oxford Fire Chief Gary Sacco on Sunday “lost his life while honoring that of his fallen brother, fellow firefighter Captain Barnes.”

The Boston Globe reports that Maine Medical Center spokesman Matt Wickenheiser confirmed that Sacco was admitted to the hospital while attending the memorial service in Portland, Maine.

Wickenheiser told the Globe that Sacco was pronounced dead at the hospital. No further details have been released.

Barnes was fatally injured shielding a colleague while battling a four-alarm fire earlier this month. Firefighters from across New England attended the public memorial.

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1:10 p.m.

Maine is honoring the “ultimate sacrifice” of a late firefighter who was fatally injured shielding a colleague while battling a four-alarm fire earlier this month.

Firefighters from across New England lined up for Berwick Fire Capt. Joel Barnes’ public memorial service Sunday at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Maine.

A private memorial service was held earlier Sunday.

Barnes’ uncle, also named Joel, grew teary as he described a nephew who grew up dedicated to serving the community as a firefighter. Berwick Fire Chief Dennis Plante said Barnes made the “ultimate sacrifice.”

The 32-year-old Barnes was the first firefighter to die while battling a fire in nearly four decades in Maine. He died while fighting a four-alarm fire on March 1.

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11:15 a.m.

Several thousand people are remembering a late Maine firefighter who was fatally injured shielding another firefighter while battling a four-alarm fire earlier this month.

Firefighters from across New England lined up for Berwick Fire Capt. Joel Barnes’ public memorial service Sunday at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Maine.

A private memorial service was held earlier Sunday.

The 32-year-old Barnes was the first firefighter to die while battling a fire in nearly four decades in Maine. He died while fighting a four-alarm fire on March 1.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills lowered flags to half-staff in the firefighter’s honor.

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10:50 a.m.

Several thousand people including firefighters from across New England are expected at the memorial for a firefighter who was fatally injured while shielding another firefighter from flames.

The public memorial service took place Sunday morning at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland for Berwick Fire Capt. Joel Barnes, who died on March 1. Representatives from 11 states and over 200 fire departments from across New England planned to attend.

The 32-year-old Barnes was the first firefighter to die while battling a fire in nearly four decades in Maine.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills lowered flags to half-staff in the firefighter’s honor. She said his life and service exemplified “unfaltering courage, selflessness and love for his fellow man.”

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9:10 a.m.

Several thousand people including firefighters from across New England are expected at the memorial for a firefighter who was fatally injured while shielding another firefighter from flames.

The service was being held Sunday at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland for Berwick Fire Capt. Joel Barnes, who died on March 1.

Fire Chief Dennis Plante previously said that Barnes protected a fellow firefighter from the flames and “died a hero.”

The 32-year-old Barnes was the first firefighter to die while battling a fire in nearly four decades in Maine.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills lowered flags to half-staff in the firefighter’s honor. She said his life and service exemplified “unfaltering courage, selflessness and love for his fellow man.”

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