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Beloved Cliffside Park firefighter dies after extended call

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

TRIBUTE: Visiting hours and a firefighters turnout are scheduled Saturday for a beloved Cliffside Park firefighter who suffered an apparent heart attack yesterday after a 16-hour fire watch in the frigid cold.

Cosmo Paris, 59, was returning home after the call at 696 Anderson Avenue when he was stricken, authorities said.

“Firefighter Paris responded to an activated alarm which created a hazard in the building necessitating fire officials to order a stand-by at the location for a fire watch. The fire watch duty extended 16 hours in sub-freezing temperatures,” the U.S. Fire Administration said.

A short time later, Paris was stricken while driving home, the USFA said. A local police officer discovered the 18-year department veteran and called for an ambulance.

His was the first firefighter line of duty death in the U.S. this year, the USFA ruled.

Paris, who was pronounced dead at a local hospital, was known for his dedication to firefighting, as well as for creating miniature fire trucks — roughly the size of golf carts — from discarded vegetable crates and other recyclables.

Two years ago, the plumbing and hearing specialist made a miniature pumper now on display at the New Jersey Firemen’s Home Museum in Boonton.

Last year, he built a miniature Tiller tractor-trailer that was displayed outside the borough firehouse.

Paris is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son-in-law. Besides being an active member of the Independent Hook & Ladder Company #1 of the Cliffside Park Fire Department, he was an Exempt Fireman and member of the Cliffside Park Exempt Firemen’s Association & The New Jersey State Exempt Firemen’s Association, and a life member of the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association and a Trustee of the Cliffside Park Firemen’s Relief Association.

Arrangements for Paris, who was born in Jersey City and was a member of New Jersey Metro Fire Photographers, are being handled by McCorry Brothers Funeral Home in Cliffside Park.

Visiting hours are 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the funeral home, with a 7:30 p.m. firefighters turnout and cremation at Cedar Lawn Crematory in Paterson.

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