Upper Peninsula firefighters honored in their final journey home

BARAGA– It’s been a somber day in the Upper Peninsula, as the two fallen firefighters from Baraga made their way back home.

Alan Swartz and James Shelifoe, Junior, received an escort from a funeral home in Minnesota to the funeral home in L’Anse. Both were killed in an accident Saturday. Crowds lined the streets in Baraga to watch them come home for the final time late this afternoon. They turned up to honor of the two firefighters and in support of their families.

Heather Gauthier was the wife of Alan and cousin of James.

“He was a great dad and Jimmy was a great dad. He was my cousin I loved him,” Gauthier said, “and him and A.J were best friends, they were like brothers.”

Gabriel Thomas, a Keweenaw Bay firefighter, said, “We’re all brothers and we need to stick together and show our support.”

Yesterday, a fundraiser was held for the firefighters and families affected by the crash and the community raised around $20,000. In honor of the fallen firefighters, Governor Snyder has ordered that all flags at government buildings be lowered to half mass through Thursday.