Firefighter killed in collapse remembered for humor, spirit

This undated photo provided by the Philadelphia Fire Department shows Lt. Matthew LeTourneau. The veteran firefighter was fatally injured Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, when a burning row home collapsed in Philadelphia and he became pinned under the debris, authorities said. (Philadelphia Fire Department via AP)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia firefighter killed in a house collapse has been remembered for his sense of humor, love of his nieces and nephews and passion for his job.

Lt. Matthew LeTourneau’s brother told the congregation at his funeral Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on Friday that his sibling had great respect for everyone he met.

The Rev. Dennis Gill told mourners LeTourneau was “a good man, a just man.” He adds, “to lay down your life is never empty.”

Afterward, the flag-draped casket was placed atop an engine as the procession made its way to a cemetery in suburban Philadelphia.

The 42-year-old LeTourneau was an 11-year veteran. Fellow firefighters pulled him from the home Saturday. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

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