Veteran Portland firefighter dies in diving accident, city confirms

Posted June 16, 2014, at 10:57 p.m.
Last modified June 17, 2014, at 11:34 a.m.
Mike Kucsma
Portland Fire Department
Mike Kucsma

PORTLAND, Maine — An off-duty Portland firefighter died Monday as the result of a recreational scuba diving accident, city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin confirmed.

City officials on Tuesday identified the deceased firefighter as Capt. Michael Kucsma.

Kucsma was pulled unconscious from the water just after 3:30 p.m. Monday near the Maine Yacht Center on Kensington Street, according to an earlier Monday announcement by Assistant Police Chief Vernon Malloch.

The 21-year veteran of the Portland Fire Department was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kucsma joined the department in 1993 as a firefighter and was promoted to captain in 2006. He was assigned to Engine 6 at Bramhall Station on Congress Street in Portland.

“Rescues of this nature are never easy, but when it’s a co-worker it is that much harder on everyone involved.” Fire Chief Jerome LaMoria said in a prepared statement. “When you spend this amount of time with someone and place the kind of trust in each other as we do, we become a big family. It’s just a devastating loss for everyone. We will provide whatever support is needed for his family at home and his co-workers here in Portland.”

Foul play is not suspected.

BDN staff writer Nok-Noi Ricker contributed to this report.

 

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