Flags flew at half-staff across Massachusetts on Thursday as community members paid tribute to fallen Worcester Fire Lt. Jason Menard, who died while saving fellow firefighters during a blaze this week.
Funeral arrangements were announced Thursday afternoon. The public viewing will be on Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. at Mercadante Funeral Home in Worcester. The funeral will be on Monday at 11 a.m. at St. John's Church, followed by burial at St. John's Cemetery.
Throughout the night Wednesday, mourners came to place flowers at a solemn memorial at the McKeon Street fire station in Worcester, hours after officials announced Menard's death.
“You talk about ultimate sacrifice, that’s it right there, knowing that there are people in there and not thinking twice about going in there,” said John Goncalves, a firefighter from Spencer who came to pay his respects.
"This guy is amazing, he saved a rookie from dying in that building and I give him the utmost respect that's why I saluted," said Jason Lombardi, a relative of Worcester firefighters.
Firefighters are "very important to the community and I don’t think they get enough credit until something happens,” said Tara Patenaude, who came to leave flowers at the station.
Wicked Wings in Worcester, a hangout for firefighters, paid tribute to Menard by setting a place for him at the bar.
On Wednesday night, a moment of silence was observed at the TD Garden ahead of the Boston Celtics' game against the Washington Wizards.
The tributes came as investigators continue to probe the cause of the fire that ripped through an apartment building at 7 Stockholm St. early Wednesday.
Menard, 39, died in the line of duty while responding to the four-alarm fire. He was trying to save fellow firefighters who responded to reports of a baby and another person trapped on the third floor of the burning building when he became trapped, according to Worcester Fire Chief Michael Lavoie.
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The deadly fire displaced up to 15 people and injured three other firefighters. Two of those firefighters have been released, while one remains hospitalized.