Procession down Interstate 40 honors Raleigh Fire Department Captain who died from throat cancer

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Monday, November 13, 2023
Procession down Interstate 40 honors Raleigh Fire Captain
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Raleigh Fire Department Captain Nathan Burgess died from throat cancer. Procession down Interstate 40 honors his memory.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Emergency vehicles made their way down Interstate 40 midday Monday to honor the passing of Raleigh Fire Captain Nathan Burgess.

Burgess served Raleigh Fire Department for nearly 20 years. He died Sunday following a long battle with throat cancer.

"He was always here for us. Always. There wasn't a time that you could not call him, text him, like, go and knock on his front door. And he would drop everything for us. And that's how I remember him," Johnston County Fire Department Deputy Chief Brian Newborn said. "Nathan was just an outstanding person. You couldn't ask for a better individual. He was on the department for 24 years, and he was chief for 14 years. And it just an outstanding individual. And I, and I couldn't say anything better about him."

The procession Monday took Burgess' remains from Duke Medical Center in Durham to Bryan-Lee Funeral Home in Garner. There, friends and family set up a memorial in Burgess' honor.

Raleigh Fire Dept. remembers Burgess as an "inspirational leader." PIO Jamie Cheveralls said the department was "incredibly touched" by the turnout for the procession that included Johnston County, Durham, Swift Creek, as well as some police officers.

Burgess served in many roles throughout his time at the fire department. Most recently, he served at Fire Station 16 where he was a captain and USAR program manager.

Burgess leaves behind a wife and four children. His wife created a group earlier this month to raise awareness about cancer among firefighters. That group is called The Phoenix Project.

"We all face the same hazards, and what she (Burgess' wife) is doing is raising awareness for it and how we need do to keep that in our mind. Approaching it, cleaning our equipment, cleaning our trucks, cleaning everything after a structure fire or any sort of incident," Newborn said.