(Montreal) An official ceremony to pay last respects to firefighter Pierre Lacroix, who was on duty during the heroic rescue of drifting boatmen at the Lachin Rapids on October 17, is taking place in Old Montreal.
A procession of 1,200 firefighters from rue de la Commune and boulevard Saint-Laurent in Old Montreal first marched to the Basilica of Notre Dame, where the funeral begins at noon. At 58, they went with the remains of an experienced firefighter who was very close to his retirement.
A total of 1,200 firefighters are on site, while 3,000 are thought to be with them from the Palas des Congress.
Before the reconciliation of the firefighters and the entry of relatives and dignitaries into the Notre Dame Basilica, the Place de Arms was immersed in sacred silence.
Three fire trucks were covered with flowers and messages of condolence from barracks across Quebec lined Notre Dame Street. Firefighter Lacroix’s yellow helmet and his hat will be carried into the basilica by his colleagues and given to the family.
Notables included Deputy Prime Minister Genevieve Gilbold, Mayor Valerie Blande and the Minister in charge of the metropolis.
Pierre Lacroix is the first firefighter to die in service in Quebec since 2012. He specializes in water recovery.