NEW TRIPOLI, Pa. — It was a day of mourning as members of the New Tripoli Fire Company placed black bunting on one of their fire engines for two of their fallen brothers, Assistant Chief Zachary Paris and Marvin Gruber.
The two firefighters died after injuries sustained while battling a house fire Wednesday afternoon outside of Tamaqua.
Northwestern Lehigh High School, just a few miles from the fire department, held a moment of silence at the start of Thursday night's varsity boys' basketball game, along with the reading of the firemen's prayer.
"I was devastated that stuff's not supposed to happen here," said Dennis Hunsicker of Lynn Township.
Hunsicker lives a mile from New Tripoli's fire station and says the fire company is a crucial part of the community.
"They're so important that if we had to pay for the fire company, I'm sure there wouldn't be a problem with most people," he said.
The New Tripoli Fire Company is 100 volunteers, and their ultimate sacrifice does not go unrecognized here in the community.
Carolyn Fitch and other parents at the school helped set up a collection jar at the concession stand just outside the gymnasium.
"It hits us really hard, so we just have a collection for our two heroes here today to show our support for them and their families and us this really difficult time," Fitch said.
Jocelynn Wambold, a senior at Northwestern Lehigh, says to see her Community come together after this tragedy is something special.
"Think it's really going to help the families, and I know our community, we may be small, but I know like we rally around a lot of people no matter what anyone's going through, I know if the community will help," Wambold said.
Funeral arraignments for the two firefighters have not yet been announced.
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