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Frank A. Douglass Insurance Agency

Community Shows Support For Fallen Firefighters

Residents throughout the Copper Country are coming together in wake of the tragedy that left two Beartown firefighters dead and seven other injured.

25-year-old Alan Swartz and 23-year-old James Shelifoe Jr., died in the crash.

Beartown Firefighters FundraiserSeveral fundraisers were held Monday, showing support for the families affected by the accident.

Director of Bay Ambulance and Baraga County volunteer firefighter Gary Wadaga says this has impacted the lives of many emergency responders throughout the U.P.

“They’re comrades, they are part of this whole team that gives up their life to help others. Whether it’s personal property or life, so the fact they’re giving up time away from their families to go and help other people and then suffer a loss like this, it’s just heartbreaking,” said Wadaga.

State Representative Scott Dianda also showed his support for the effort.

“It was a tragedy that happened, two young people from the Indian Bay community have lost their lives and the other people have been injured, so I’m here today with the family and to give our condolences to the community along with their relatives and friends that are gathered right here today,” Dianda said.

“Fill the Boot” fundraisers were held at the L’Anse Fire Hall, Eagle Radio in Baraga and at the Chassell Fire Department, with additional boots at The Finn’s by the Skanee Volunteer Fire Department and the Hardwood Steakhouse by the Covington Volunteer Fire Department.

A spaghetti dinner was held at the L’Anse VFW hall Monday evening.

Those unable to attend one of the fundraisers can still donate to the Beartown Firefighter’s Fund at the Superior National Bank and donations can be dropped off or mailed to any branch.

The account number is 201144112. Donations are also being accepted at the Tribal Center, 16429 Beartown Road, Baraga, MI 49908.

Food donations are also being accepted and are needed for each funeral luncheon beginning at 9:00am on both Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Those donations can be dropped off at the Zeba Community Hall, 16141 Zeba Rd, L’Anse, MI.

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