A group of neighbors gathered on a grassy area near Parkway Road and Broadway in South Whitehall Township.
It was near the end of the procession to escort two fallen firefighters from the Schuylkill County Coroner’s Office to the Lehigh County Joint Operations Center in South Whitehall Township.
“My brother is a firefighter,” said Kelly Hasselman, who went to see it with the children. I’m a hero.”
State police and fire companies from three counties met on Thursday to say goodbye to Marvin Gruber, 59, and Zachary Parris, 36, members of Nutripoli’s Community Fire Company. He died Wednesday night fighting a house fire on Crumtown Road in West Penn Township.Schuylkill County.
The procession started in New Philadelphia at around 2:30pm, followed Route 309 to Route 100 and headed downtown, arriving at 5:00pm.
The roads were lined with yellow and red fire trucks, pump trucks, and ladder trucks from all over the Lehigh Valley. Firefighters and crew members stood beside the truck, waiting for the procession to pass. Some put up big flags, while others left their lights and sirens on to show they were there to help the family and friends of the fallen firefighters.
Locked in their home and declaring a state of emergency over the radio, Gruber and Paris were dragged from the fire and taken to St Luke’s Hospital Miners in Caldale, where they were pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m.
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People were watching along the road. In neighborhoods near Parkway Road and Broadway, groups gathered with children in strollers and junior high school students who refused to wear coats in the cold.
Hasselman’s friend and neighbor, Brittney Luzeo, knew Gruber. Ms. Luzeo, whose husband has been a volunteer firefighter for years, said Gruber worked with her mother at her college in Lehigh Carbon, her community. Lutseo said Gruber worked at LCCC before working at Northampton Community College.
“I met him through my mother,” Lutso said. “He was a really nice guy. I’ve been thinking about her husband all this time and thank God he’s still here.”
As the procession approached, a large American flag was hoisted between two fire engines, forming an arch in the parking lot of the Lehigh County Joint Operations Center. Firefighters and crew along the route solemnly saluted as the procession passed.
Debi Kotretsos was waiting in the corner just as the procession arrived. She walked out of her neighborhood to pay her respects.
She said there’s never a better time to lose a loved one, but before Christmas it gets even worse.
“It’s really great to see so many people stepping out here,” she said.
https://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-nws-slain-firefighters-new-tripoli-procession-20221208-p4g7ewp6orci5dg23mqugmjpvm-story.html#ed=rss_www.mcall.com/arcio/rss/category/news/local/ Lehigh Valley community comes out to honor two New Tripoli firefighters killed during march – The Morning Call