BUFFALO, N.Y. — Over the past nine days, we have learned more about the family man, firefighter, and friend that Jason Arno was.
"Jason Arno was a dedicated member of the Buffalo Fire Department's Engine Company 2 for three years. He was 37 years old. Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo and I met with the family last night. They were very warm and welcoming. They are a large and close-knit family," Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said last Thursday.
In the days since firefighter Jason Arno's passing March first, we've learned more about the man he was and the legacy he leaves behind.
"Just a bright young man with everything in front of him. Just was married over the summer. Had a three-year-old girl at home. His whole future in front of him and exemplary firefighter and employee," said Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo.
"The Buffalo Fire Department is truly a family. We're all connected. Brotherhood. Sisterhood. You know, all of us are together in this, and when a member of the family dies, like any family, it's a mourning," said Buffalo Fire Chaplain Father Paul Seil.
Jason Arno is survived by his wife, Sarah, and their daughter, Olivia.
In an article in the Buffalo News this week, Arno's brother Delton said when Olivia was born, "Everything he did, he did for her after that."
And on the family's GoFundMe page, Delton said, "The fact that she and his wife, these two beautiful souls, have to face these disgustingly unfair circumstances is heart-wrenching."
Jason Arno graduated from Canisius High School in 2003 and joined the Buffalo Fire Department three years ago. On Friday, he will be honored at St. Joseph Cathedral.
"We hope that first and foremost that Firefighter Arno's family are comforted, that they are able to grieve and they're able to have their privacy respected, for instance, and just be able to be with each other, be with God, and to pray and hopefully still be moved, though, by everything that everyone's trying to surround them, and that's their love," said The Rev. Seán Paul Fleming, Saint Joseph Cathedral Rector.
Added Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo: "He was a hero. He was a brave, committed firefighter. You know, he went into this job with his eyes wide open to serve the citizens of Buffalo, and he's to be commended for that, and he's going to be honored for that."
Last Thursday, Renaldo said Arno was just a great all-around person and a person no one ever had anything bad to say about.