LODD: Colo. fire chief dies from heart attack while responding to crash scene

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis ordered flags to fly at half-staff in honor of Nucla Naturita Fire Protection District Chief Chester Riley, 57

Duty Death: Chester Riley - [Nucla, Colorado]

End of Service: 03/20/2021

By Kerri Hatt

NUCLA, Colo. — Nucla Naturita Fire Protection District (Colorado) Fire Chief Chester Riley, 57, died in the line of duty from a heart attack on Mar. 20, 2021, according to the U.S. Fire Administration

Chief Riley experienced a heart attack while responding to the scene of an automobile accident in Montrose County, southeast of Nucla. He was one of the first responders on the scene, KUSA 9 News reported.

The rural district is a community on Colorado’s Western Slope south of Grand Junction.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff in Riley's honor. 

In a Facebook post, the Nucla Naturita Fire Department said Riley died “doing what his heart guided him to do his entire life; helping others.”

“Chief Riley gave of himself in the service of others his entire life,” the post reads. “… Chester may not have been loved by everyone, but he loved everyone. Rest in peace chief, you’ve served your fellow man with dignity and honor.

“We’ll take it from here.”

Riley is survived by his wife, son, father and two brothers. His funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 27.

A fundraiser to support the family has been organized. 


With heavy hearts, we're announcing the passing of our Fire Chief, Chester Riley. Chester left us on the scene of an...

Posted by Nucla Naturita FireDept on Sunday, March 21, 2021


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