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Mayor pays tribute to 2 City of Buffalo employees who recently died

Jason Arno, a Buffalo firefighter, was laid to rest Friday. Another city employee, Rhondesia Belton, died March 5 after a stampede at a Rochester concert.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown on Sunday paid tribute to two City of Buffalo employees who recently died.

One is Jason Arno, the Buffalo firefighter who was laid to rest on Friday. The investigation into the cause of the deadly, 4-alarm Main Street fire is ongoing.

Another city employee, Rhondesia Belton, died on March 5.

The 33-year old worked in the city's traffic violations office. She was trampled to death in Rochester as a crowd rushed for the exit at a concert at the Main Street Armory.

Belton's supervisor, Octavio Villegas, was on the mayor's "Talk of the Town" radio program on WUFO on Sunday.

"She was a Buffalo girl from the East Side, graduated from McKinley High School. Went to Canisius, got a degree in accounting, was a great employee at Kaleida Health, where she did digital images and MRIs. Came to City Hall because she wanted to apply her accounting degree, and when she came to our agency, she was a star from day one," Villegas said.

The mayor also spoke with Belton's mom, who said she rarely went out and had attended the concert with her sister. Her funeral is Tuesday, and a GoFundMe has been set up for her 3-year-old son.


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