Coventry firefighter passes away from occupational cancer

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — A Coventry firefighter will be laid to rest Wednesday after losing a battle with cancer, the Coventry Professional Firefighters union announced Tuesday.

Lieutenant James Harrington, 41, passed away after contracting occupational cancer in the line of duty. His death marks the second occupational cancer death in the district in two years, the union said.

Captain Bill Hall passed away in April 2013 — the firefighters union said Hall and Harrington were assigned to the same stations and trucks, and were partners for many years.

Both men were in their forties.

“It’s just too young of an age and each death seems to be too similar,” a spokesperson for the union said.

Lieutenant Harrington leaves behind his wife Cara, and two daughters. He served the department for 14 years and will be posthumously promoted to Captain.

A traditional line of duty wake and funeral have been scheduled. Visiting hours will be held Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Iannotti’s Funeral Home in Coventry. A funeral mass will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Greenwich, followed by a burial at Rathburn Cemetery in Coventry.

The Coventry Police Dept. said traffic delays should be expected beginning at 11 a.m. in the area of Arnold Road to Sandy Bottom Road, Main Street to Knotty Oak Road, and Maple Street.

Police said drivers should avoid the area if at all possible.

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