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WATCH: Buffalo firefighter Jason Arno is laid to rest

Watch the funeral of fallen Buffalo firefighter Jason Arno. The funeral was held Friday March 10, 2023 in St. Joseph Cathedral and the video feed above has been provided by the Diocese Of Buffalo with the family's permission.

Firefighter Jason Arno
Buffalo Fire Dept. photo
Firefighter Jason Arno

The city of Buffalo, and a nationwide community of firefighters gathered at St. Joseph Cathedral and on city streets Friday to remember firefighter Jason Arno as a passionate man, who in the words of his brother Delton Arno " was the life of the room, the center of gravity ."

Arno died in the line of duty on March 1 after a three-story building at 745 Main St. caught fire. He was 37 years old.

During his approximately two-hour funeral service, he was eulogized by his both the local and national presidents of the Professional Firefighters Association. Former Buffalo Fire Commissioner Michael D'Orazio and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown also spoke.

"On behalf of the entire City of Buffalo, I extend our most profound condolences.. our hearts are broken, " Brown said, adding that Arno was known as " a man for others. And that's how he lived."

Vincent Ventresca, President of Buffalo Professional Firefighters Local 282, told of how Arno was "always smiling" and had just arrived at the firehouse with groceries for a shift meal, when he ran out on the call that ultimately took his life.

"Sacrifice, commitment to duty, and confidence are the attributes of a true hero and Firefighter Jason Arno," Ventresca said.

"Risky, loving, mischievous, compassionate, altruistic, belligerent, thoughtful, kind. The heart of the family who moved between crowds and was the life of the room,"
Delton Arno, describing his brother, firefighter Jason Arno

His brother Delton recalled Jason's determination, evident even in youth when he would take on other Canisius High School football players "that were feet shorter and a hundred pounds heavier."

"He was a socialite, master chef, gambler, musician, server, and firefighter..." Delton Arno said describing his brother - as many did- as a charismatic entertainer at heart who worked in restaurants, organized parties, and loved to cook.

"As a contrarian first and the voice of reason second, everyone hanging on his every word, and he had them all in his pocket. His mood depended entirely on yours, so your happiness came first,' he said.

In front of St. Joseph's Cathedral during the funeral for Buffalo Firefighter Jason Arno
WBFO Photo/Brigid Jaipaul-Valenza
In front of St. Joseph's Cathedral during the funeral for Buffalo Firefighter Jason Arno

Hundreds lined the funeral procession route between the Amigone Funeral Home on Delaware Avenue and the cathedral downtown.

Large screens were set up on Franklin Street for the firefighters and others who were not inside for the private service, and several mourners gathered in front of the church as a light snowfall hit.

Arno leaves behind a wife, and a three-year-old daughter. He was interred in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo.

Arno died March 1, while working a four-alarm fire at the DC Theatricks building at 745 Main St. in Buffalo's Theater District.

While fighting the fire, there was a sudden blast that sent flames and smoke into the street. Arno was reported missing shortly after and was found in the building a short time later.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is likely to continue into next week, say investigators who have been working on scene.

Dave Debo's journalism career runs the gamut from public radio to commercial radio, from digital projects to newspapers. With over 30 years of experience, he's produced national television news programs and has worked as both a daily and weekly print journalist and web editor.
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