RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A funeral is planned for this weekend after the death of a fireman who spent 21 years with the Raleigh Fire Department, officials say.

Nathan Burgess, 49, leaves behind a wife and four children after he lost a battle with throat cancer over the weekend, Raleigh fire officials said.

“The Raleigh Fire family lost a great Captain,” the Raleigh Fire Department said in a statement. “Praying for his family & friends during this difficult time.”

Burgess died Sunday night while surrounded by friends and family. There was a procession Monday for him from Duke University Medical Center to a funeral home in Garner.

Before joining Raleigh as a firefighter, Burgess spent many years at the 50-210 Fire Department, which serves the McGee’s Crossroads area.

“It is a sad time for all of us — he was a friend, he was a buddy. If you made the phone call he would be there,” retired firefighter Andy Penny told CBS 17 Monday afternoon.

Nathan Burgess, 49, who was with the Raleigh Fire Department for 21 years, leaves behind a wife and four children, fire officials said. Photo from Raleigh Fire Department.

Burgess was chief of the fire department for 14 years, officials said.

“Passing of Our Fire Chief, taken too soon. Prayers Please,” the fire department posted on Facebook Sunday.

Burgess, whose children are ages 11 to 15, also served in the U.S. Navy and was originally from Missouri.

His funeral is planned for Sunday, but other details have not been released.