Haverhill Fire Chief Richard B. Borden Dies Suddenly at 56

Haverhill Fire Chief Richard B. Borden died Sunday afternoon at his home.

Haverhill Police and Fire Departments responded to Borden’s 46 Rosemary Ave. home at 3:30 p.m. after the 56-year-old he was reported unresponsive. He “was pronounced deceased at the scene of apparent natural causes,” said police Captain Robert P. Pistone.

“Fire Chief Richard Borden was a dedicated public servant who worked tirelessly for the city of Haverhill and will be missed by the people of Haverhill,” said Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini. “Haverhill lost a friend today. All flags will be flown at half mast in Haverhill tomorrow in honor of Fire Chief Borden.”

Borden was a Haverhill firefighter since 1983, moving up the ranks to become lieutenant in 1987, deputy chief in 1994, senior deputy chief in 1999 and acting chief in 2005. He was officially appointed fire chief in May, 2008, by Fiorentini. Borden was expected to retire late this year.

“I have had the honor of working closely with Chief Borden over the last four years. He was a dedicated fire professional who was very proud of the Haverhill Fire Department   and all it has accomplished under his tenure,” said Police Chief and Public Safety Commissioner Alan R. DeNaro.

The firefighters’ union, IAFF Local 1011, issued a brief statement Monday morning.

“HFD would like to thank everyone for their condolences on the passing of Chief Borden. Our priority now is helping his family grieve at this difficult time.”

Borden’s father, Richard H. Borden, also served as fire chief from 1986 to 1999.

The state medical examiner and Massachusetts State Police are called on all unattended deaths.

This is a developing story. More details to follow.