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Fallen Buffalo firefighter transported from ECMC to funeral home

Under a heavy police and fire escort, Jason Arno was transported to ECMC to Amigone Funeral Home on Friday afternoon.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Two days after the fatal 4-alarm fire that killed Engine 2 firefighter Jason Arno, his body was transported from ECMC to Amigone Funeral Home on Delaware Avenue.

The hearse carrying Arno's casket was escorted by multiple police vehicles from several area law enforcement agencies, the Erie County Sheriff's Office helicopter unit, and fellow Buffalo Fire companies.

Perhaps the most impactful part of the escort was Engine 2, his home, leading him to where final arrangements will be made. 

Lining Delaware Avenue was at least 200 members of the Western New York firefighting community, not only members of the Buffalo Fire Department, but area volunteer companies as well. 

"We're all connected," Buffalo Fire chaplain Paul Seil said. "Because of the fact that everybody's so connected in Buffalo, people want to be out to this for another part of this ceremony, which is kind of the another step in the grieving process."

The scene was emotional. Members of the firefighting community embracing each other throughout the procession. The tears on the faces of Buffalo's bravest could be seen through their powerful gaze. 

Members of Engine 2 gathered around the hearse for a moment of prayer, led by Father Seil. 

"We're not doing too well, in one sense," Father Seil said. "It's still very new, it's still at a point where people are trying to understand, did this really happen?"

The investigation will continue for quite some time. 

Retired Buffalo Fire Marshal Edwin Ortiz says an investigation into a fire like this, particularly where a firefighter lost his life, will be lengthy. 

"This is not a one-hour show," Ortiz said. "I would suspect minimum six months, maybe even nine months a year."

Captain Ortiz served on the Buffalo Fire Department for 25 years and has investigated thousands of fires. 

Ortiz says with the expertise of the ATF on scene, they will be able to quickly establish what happened, and how. 

But coming through other evidence will be a lengthy process. 

"Anybody that has video, to an average citizen, it may not seem important, but to a fire marshal or anybody on that team, is it can be a significant piece to a puzzle," Ortiz said. 

Funeral arrangements are being made, but details have not been made public yet. A source told 2 On Your Side that more details could be released Monday or Tuesday.

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