Philadelphia

Remembering a Hero: Funeral Held for Fallen Philly Firefighter, Lt. Matthew LeTourneau

Lt. LeTourneau was an 11-year veteran of the department. He died in the line of duty while battling a row home blaze.

Hundreds lined up in the rain Friday morning to say farewell to a fallen veteran Philadelphia firefighter. It was part of the emotional tributes as Lt. Matthew LeTourneau is laid to rest.

LeTourneau's flag-draped casket lay atop an engine from his former company, Engine 43, surrounded by his somber colleagues, just after 8 a.m. Friday.

The procession then made its way through Center City, halting the typical hustle and bustle of the morning rush. The procession brought office workers to a standstill on the sidewalks as the drum corps' snares echoed off the high rises and the emergency vehicles with lights flashing moved slowly along Market Street.

Philadelphia Mourns Philly Fire Lieutenant Who Died in North Philly Blaze

It continued to the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, at 19th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where the public funeral Mass was held.

"He lived, ate, slept and breathed this job," Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said at the funeral. "He was the consummate professional."

Missing Attachment Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel recalls the engaging manner of fallen Fire Lt. Matthew LeTourneau. Philadelphia paused Friday for the funeral of the 11-year veteran firefighter.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and LeTourneau's brother, Luke LeTourneau, also eulogized LeTourneau at his funeral.

Firefighters, first responders from all over, friends and family gathered for two viewings and then the funeral to pay their final respects to LeTourneau, who died fighting a row home fire on Saturday.

Burial followed at Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery in Springfield, Delaware County after another rain-soaked processional.

LeTourneau, an 11-year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department, was one of 100 firefighters who responded to a row home fire on the 2200 block of North Colorado Street shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday. He became trapped inside the home after a structure collapsed. He was pulled out by fellow firefighters and taken to Temple University Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Besides his work with Engine 45 of the Philadelphia Fire Department, LeTourneau also trained firefighters and spent time at the Delaware County training facility. He was a native of Delaware County. He also was a supporter of the Red Paw Relief Team who would sometimes foster animals.

The Philadelphia Fire Department planned to posthumously promote him to captain.

Philadelphia Fire Department via AP
Lt. Matthew LeTourneau, as seen in this undated portrait. The veteran firefighter was killed battling a fire on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018.

A resident, identified as Delgara Lane, also died in the fire, which remained under investigation Thursday. Two other firefighters were treated at a hospital for undisclosed injuries.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Missing Attachment Condolences are pouring in for Philadelphia firefighter Lieutenant Matt LeTorneau who died battling a row home fire in North Philadelphia Saturday morning. NBC10’s Cydney Long has the story.
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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