PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Family and friends are taking part in the final farewell to a fallen firefighter on Thursday.
Philadelphia Fire Lt. Matthew LeTourneau was killed battling a house fire in North Philadelphia this past weekend.
Hundreds are paying their respects at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.
It was a somber procession along JFK Boulevard as the hearse carrying LeTourneau made its way to the church.
The 42-year-old LeTourneau was killed battling a two-alarm row house fire in North Philadelphia last Saturday when a floor collapsed, trapping him under charred debris.
He was an 11-year veteran with Engine 45 and also served more than 25 years volunteering with the Springfield Fire Company in Delaware County.
Lines wrapped around the cathedral for the viewing.
“You have to show respect for the police and firemen who put their lives on the line for us, and this is my way of showing respect,” said Bill Handley of North Philadelphia.
“Of all the people I’ve known, there’s very few in my life that I’ve known that absolutely nothing negative can be said about and Matthew was one of them,” friend Michael Carney told CBS3.
“The fire services is one big brotherhood. We’re just across the bridge but we suffered a pain of the Philadelphia Fire Department and we’re here in solidarity. We couldn’t imagine what the family is going through, the hardship that the Philadelphia Fire Department family is going through, but just being here, we want to be able to give them strength and our prayers,” said Capt. Sam Munoz of the Camden Fire Department.
SEPTA says that uniformed firefighters can ride the system for free to attend services for LeTourneau.
A second viewing will be held Friday morning, followed by a funeral mass.