Robert David Cooper, 48, a real estate salesman who was a retired D.C. Fire Department lieutenant and former chief of the Brentwood Volunteer Fire Department in Maryland, died of cancer Nov. 24 at his home in Front Royal, Va.

He spent 16 years with the D.C. Fire Department before retiring on disability in 1973. He was a recipient of a D.C. Fire Department Silver Medal for Valor for work he did as a firefighter and ambulance technician in 1962.

Mr. Cooper and his partner, Charles B. Wilcox, reported to a scene in Northwest Washington to transport a D.C. Police officer to the hospital. The officer had been shot by a man who had barricaded himself in a building, then threatened to shoot anyone attempting to rescue the wounded officer.

The two firefighters rushed to the wounded officer, David B. McQueen II, who was lying directly in the line of fire between police and the gunman, loaded the officer on a stretcher, then administered first aid and rushed him to a hospital. The officer recovered.

Mr. Cooper was born in Washington and reared in Brentwood. He attended the University of Maryland. While a full-time firefighter in Washington, he also was active in volunteer organizations. He served with the Brentwood Volunteer Fire Department from 1952 to 1964, and was its chief from 1962 to 1964. He had lived in Front Royal since 1973, and at the time of his death was a licensed real estate salesman with Century 21-Heritage Homes there.

He was a past president of the Cedarville Ruritan Club of Front Royal, and he had served as a director of the Shenandoah Shores Property Owners Association and vice president of the Shenandoah Shores Cooperative Water Association. He was an honorary member of the Shenandoah Shores Volunteer Fire Department.

Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Mary Corrigan Cooper of Front Royal; two daughters, Mary Kay Kerr of College Park and Carrie D. Cooper of Front Royal; his mother, Mary Anne Cooper of LaPlata; a brother, Everett C. Jr., of Maddox, Md.; two sisters, Rosemary Tevis of Pomfret, Md., and Nancy Lowery of Leesville, La., and two grandchildren.