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The Detroit Fire Department is mourning the loss of Raymond Birch Sr., 54, who died in his sleep at his Dearborn Heights home on Sunday.

Birch is a 21-year veteran of the fire department, and served as assistant chief of the fire department's EMS division. 

Dave Fornell, deputy commissioner and spokesman for the department, described Birch as "a good guy and a good friend." 

The former Marine will be buried at the Holly National Cemetery. Arrangements are being set. 

Birch's death comes months after his recovery from hip surgery, which Fornell said he had "bounced back" from just fine.

"We're gobstruck right now," Fornell said. "This is very bad."

jdickson@detroitnews.com

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