The mourners from afar came to pay respects to Lt. Charles W. “Chip” McCarthy Jr. and Firefighter Jonathan S. Croom early Monday. Both rushed into a burning building to rescue a life — any life — from the smoky hell.

The firefighters created a profound scene for McCarthy as his casket reached the historic St. Joseph Cathedral shortly before 10 this morning. The casket and McCarthy’s family entered the cathedral through a path of firefighters at least ten deep.

As McCarthy’s family members followed his flag-draped wooden coffin into the cathedral, not firefighters stood in respect, and workers from nearby office buildings gazed attentively from their windows or came outside to join in tribute. See Buffalo News.

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