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California Firefighters Lined A 200-Mile Funeral Procession For Their Fallen Comrade

Cory Iverson died battling the California wildfires on Dec. 14.

Firefighter Cory Iverson was combatting the blaze from the Thomas fire in Fillmore, Calif. when he died from smoke inhalation on Dec. 14. He was just 32 years old, and left behind a pregnant wife and a 2-year-old daughter.

On Dec.17, a funeral procession for the fallen firefighter covered 203 miles—with citizens, loved ones and fellow firefighters lining the route to pay their respects. The procession covered three different highways and lasted more than three hours.

“Today has been a day that I am struggling to find words to try and describe,” Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham told NBC 7. “Cory Iverson made a decision to seek a profession where he put others first and by doing that that comes at great consequence to his family.”

Iverson, who lived with his family in Escondido, northeast of San Diego, had been a firefighter with Cal Fire since 2009. The accident in which he died is currently being investigated.

 

Mecham drove in the procession and told NBC7 there were “multiple fire engines standing in salute” on every single overpass the procession passed.

You can see the path of the procession in the map below.

A GoFund Me page has been set up by a friend of the family to help support them in the wake of this tragedy. More than $500,000 have been raised thus far.

Go Fund Me

“My heart shattered when I learned what happened to him,” San Diego Cal Fire spokesman Jon Heggie told the Los Angeles Times. “I can only imagine the pain his wife and his family are going through, and all of us in the fire service are feeling it for them.”

Iverson’s remains will stay at the El Camino Memorial Park until his memorial service on Dec. 23. The service will be held at The Rock Church on Rosecrans Street in Point Loma at 10 a.m.