The loss of an off-duty paramedic in a house fire in Dieppe on Wednesday has left a void in the province's ambulance service, officials say.
Mike Harborne was killed in the blaze at 582 Charline Ave. at about 2 a.m.
He left behind a fiancé, a small child and another baby on the way, said Craig Pierre, the eastern regional manager with Ambulance New Brunswick.
Harborne was a valued colleague and friend, said Pierre.
"We'll sadly miss him from our operation as a paramedic, but certainly as a family man and for the dedication he had there."
'We deal with this on a day-to-day basis, but we have to also draw back and remember that we're human.' —Craig Pierre, Ambulance New Brunswick
Harborne's death adds to an already difficult year for paramedics in the province, Pierre said.
"We've lost, to my knowledge, three really good paramedics," he said. "One, a volunteer firefighter in the western district, one succumbed to cancer, certainly when not expected — although it doesn't make it any easier, it certainly is more of an impact and more of a surprise to our peers," he said.
"As paramedics, we're health care professionals and we deal with this on a day-to-day basis, but we have to also draw back and remember that we're human and like anybody else."
Harborne was unconscious on the upper level of the triplex on the city's east side when he was pulled out by firefighters. He was later pronounced dead.
Another man who was rescued from the fire remains in hospital in critical condition.
And a firefighter who broke his foot while pulling a victim out of the building is expected to be off of work for several weeks.
Fire officials believe the fire started on the first floor and was a cooking fire.