Retired North Chicago Fire Chief Richard Turner | Provided Photo

Lake County’s first African-American fire chief died this week at age 76 after serving on the North Chicago Fire Department for over 24 years before his retirement.

The North Chicago Fire Department announced Friday with “deep sadness” that retired fire chief Richard Turner died on Thursday.

Turner was hired as a full-time firefighter with the North Chicago Fire Department on November 1, 1974. He had worked as a paid-on-call firefighter prior to his full-time hire.

He was promoted to deputy chief in 1986 and served in the role until 1990.

Turner was promoted to fire chief from 1990 through October 31, 1998, at which point he retired.

Turner, a long-time resident of North Chicago, was the first African-American fire chief in Lake County. He also served in the U.S. Marines in Vietnam.

He leaves behind his wife, five children and a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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“Please keep the family of Chief Turner in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” the fire department said in a statement.

Funeral service arrangements have not been announced yet.