Newington fire chief Darin Sabine remembered as a 'great man'

Newington Fire Chief Darin Sabine is shown in May. He was still working at that point, despite fighting cancer.

NEWINGTON — Firefighters in New Hampshire are mourning the loss of Newington Chief Darin Sabine, who passed away on Saturday after a two-year battle with cancer.

“By all accounts, he was a wonderful human being and certainly eager about his job there,” said Portsmouth Fire Chief Todd Germain.

Germain said his department works closely with the Newington Fire Department, and that it is sad that their communities have lost young firefighters to cancer in the past 10 years.

Sabine was just 35 years old.

Funeral services are being planned at Connect Community Church in Portsmouth on Friday at 11 a.m. with a burial service and procession to follow in Newington. Visiting hours are Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m., with “sea of blue” honors, which are for uniformed personnel, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Germain said organizers are working hard to ensure that Sabine has a service worthy of his dedication to the firefighting profession.

Sabine started his career with the Newington Fire Department as a call member. He became a part-time firefighter and then deputy chief before taking on the title of fire chief, according to the department’s Facebook page.

Since the announcement about Sabine’s death was made, people have been offering their condolences and fond memories online.

Derek Belanger said Sabine endured 41 rounds of chemotherapy during his battle with colon cancer.

“Yesterday we lost a great man. Someone who taught me by example how to be patient, kind & forgiving. Someone who taught me how to embrace the suck and not be mad because it’s a waste of energy. Yesterday we lost a fighter,” Belanger wrote on Facebook.

Sabine leaves behind a wife, Jenn, and two young daughters.

In June, Sabine posted online that he had been asked if he thought there is a heaven where loved ones are reunited after they die.

“I can’t imagine love like this dies when my heart stops and I can’t even start to think that when that does happen I will never be able to hold my three girls again,” Sabine wrote.

“I don’t have all the answers, but I do know my love for them will carry on long after my body fails me.”

Fire Chief Paul Haas of the Dover Fire Department said everyone there is extremely saddened by the news of Sabine’s passing. Dover and Newington crews work hand-in-hand on most major incidents, Haas said.

“Chief Sabine had an enthusiasm to keep his organization moving forward, and he wasn’t willing to let his disease slow him down until the very end. The strength he showed as he continued to work as fire chief, even as the difficulties related to his cancer treatments continued to grow, was admirable,” Haas said in a statement Monday.

“He had an entire career in front of him. He left the fire service, the Newington Fire Department, and most importantly his family ... way too soon,” Haas said.