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Fallen Firefighters’ Homecoming, Funerals Planned

The two Beartown Firefighters who were killed in Saturday’s traffic crash in Minnesota will return home tomorrow (Tuesday).

The bodies of 25-year-old Alan (A.J.) Swartz and 23-year-old James Shelifoe will leave the Minneapolis area around 7:00 am Eastern Daylight Time (6:00 am Minneapolis time). UPDATE – The KBIC Facebook page now lists the departure time as 7:30 EDT/6:30 CDT.

Beartown Firefihters LogoL’Anse Fire Chief Mike Bianco says local fire departments along the entire route will turn out to escort and salute their fallen comrades. The L’Anse Fire Department and other local firefighters will meet the convoy when it arrives in Bruce Crossing, and escort the bodies home from there.

The procession will travel north from Bruce Crossing on US-45; then east on M-38 to Baraga, the hometown of both of the victims. It will cut through downtown Baraga along Superior Avenue, then continue on US-41 to the Reid Funeral Home on US-41 just south of L’Anse. The estimated arrival time will be shortly after 1:00, depending on the speed of the convoy.

Members of the public are encouraged to show their support along the route with signs and flags.

According to the Reid Funeral Home website, the funeral service for Shelifoe will be held Wednesday at 1:00. The service for Swartz will be held Thursday at 1:00. Both will take place at the KBIC Zeba Community Center. In each case, visitation will begin at 11:00, two hours before the funeral. Link to the obituaries here.

See our related stories here, here, and here.

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