Richmond-Carolina Fire District honors fallen fire chief

RICHMOND, R.I. (WLNE) — The town of Richmond and the Richmond-Carolina Fire District mourning, after the loss of one of their own. 

Deputy Chief, Robert Gardner Jr. passed away from a heart attack. 

“Not only was he a coworker full time at the town, he was obviously my deputy for a few years, and a 15 year member here, but he was my friend,” Scott W. Barber, the Fire Chief of Richmond-Carolina Fire District said. 

Though Gardner was a quiet man, hundreds gathered on Thursday to pay their final respects. 

“He never wanted any attention, he would do what he did because he wanted to do it, it was the right thing to do,” Barber said. 

Units from neighboring communities also came out to show support for the 55-year-old. 

A close coworker of his told ABC 6 News that he was too young to go, many of the department referred to Gardner as “part of the family.” 

“Just the support for me personally, and everybody that’s been reaching out has just been phenomenal,” Barber said. 

Barber also said there are plans to memorialize Gardner. The family said they are working on a scholarship fund for Gardner’s grandson.

Fellow firefighters also said a new training ground for the department might be branded with his name. 

“I’m very appreciative with how this community has treated us during this whole process, and I just love living in the town and I’m just honored to be the fire chief here,” Barber said. 

Gardner’s last alarm was Jan. 26, just over a week ago.

Categories: News, Rhode Island