BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — A long time volunteer firefighter who died in the line of duty this week will soon be laid to rest.
Bunting still hangs over the Pascoag fire department as the community mourns the loss of Lt. Richard Jenks.
Earlier Sunday night, hundreds of community members and those in fire service from around the region gathered in Burrillville for a final farewell.
Lt. Jenks was a lifelong friend of Harrisville Deputy Fire Chief Michael Gingell, who was at the chimney fire on Wednesday when Jenks tripped and eventually collapsed before being rushed to the hospital.
“Richard still had that smile as we walked him to seek medical aid,” said Gingell.
The 72 year old was pronounced dead later that day at Landmark Medical Center. The Health Department said it was heart disease that took his life.
The Pascoag Fire Department announced a final alarm for Lt. Jenks at Sunday’s memorial service.
“Breathtaking for a few seconds when that alarm sounded, but it’s what Richard would want, he would want us there and we were there tonight,” said Gingell.
The streets were full of people honoring Lt. Jenks.
An American Flag was waving overhead, his gear was placed outside of the fire department, and his grieving family was saluted and thanked.
“Richard didn’t go home Wednesday morning, but we think that Richard is now safe and we embrace each other, and we’ll get through this,” said Gingell
Several mourners at Sunday night’s memorial said that Jenks would want them to go back and have things be business as usual. They said they are going to do that for him, always having his presence with them.