(WHTM) – Funeral and memorial service plans have been announced for the two New Tripoli Fire Company firefighters who were lost in the line of duty last week.
According to the Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner, a joint funeral service will be held for Marvin L. Gruber, and Zachary T.A. Paris. this weekend.
A public viewing will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, December 17, at Northwestern Lehigh Middle School.
A private viewing will be held for Lehigh County Public Service members and Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescues Services members.
A private funeral service will begin at 2 p.m. in the middle school auditorium.
Don Smith, Jr., a spokesperson for the Lehigh County Communications Center, said at a news conference Thursday that the two firefighters became trapped while trying to put out the blaze, and that other firefighters worked quickly to try to rescue them. They were rushed to the hospital, where they died, Smith said.
Paris lived and volunteered in New Tripoli but worked as a professional firefighter in Frederick County, Maryland. He joined the county’s fire department as a recruit in February and had just graduated from the fire academy in September.
Survivors include his wife, two daughters, a sister and his parents.
“There are no words to describe the sadness myself and the members of Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services are feeling today,” said Fire Chief Tom Coe. “Not only was Zach someone who was living out his dream of becoming a career firefighter, but he was also living out his dream as a family man.”
Gruber worked at Northampton Community College for 22 years, the last 15 in the Department of Public Safety.
“He died a hero in the line of duty, doing what he did best, helping and protecting others while selflessly serving his community with honor and integrity,” said Keith Morris, the school’s public safety chief.
West Penn Township Police Chief James Bonner said two other people — “an uncle and nephew” — lived in the three-story single-family home. He said two other firefighters were treated for injuries.
They said more than 100 firefighters and officers responded shortly before 4 p.m., and Bonner called it an active crime scene. He said Pennsylvania State Police and the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisting the investigation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report