Examiner Determines Portland Firefighter Died of a Heart Attack

A Portland firefighter who died while scuba diving Monday afternoon suffered a heart attack, according to preliminary findings of the state medical examiner’s office, reports The Bangor Daily News.

Portland Fire Department Capt. Michael Kucsma, 43, was found unconscious in the water near the Maine Yacht Center on Kensington Street just after 3:30 p.m. on Monday. Attempts by rescuers to revive him were unsuccessful.

According to a Wednesday night news release by the Portland Fire Department, the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta determined that Kucsma died of natural causes while diving.

“This report is bittersweet, allowing his family and co-workers additional peace of mind. Yet there is still the task of saying goodbye to a son, a husband, a brother and a friend,” Portland Fire Chief Jerome LaMoria said in a statement Wednesday night.

In addition to his job with the Portland Fire Department, Kucsma was a deputy chief with the Gorham department.

Kucsma responded to an emergency call in Gorham earlier in the day before he died, so department and union leaders in Portland and Gorham are both filing the paperwork necessary to designate the incident as death in the line of duty.

That designation would trigger certain benefits for Kucsma’s family, according to the Portland department announcement.

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