Arrangements set for 2 fallen Detroit firefighters
Funeral arrangements have been set for two Detroit firefighters who died on the job, two days apart last week.
Capt. Walter Szelag died Friday of an apparent heart attack while working at the Fire Boat 1 command. A day earlier, Sgt. Vince Smith was found dead inside Engine 48 in southwest Detroit.
“It’s been a tough few weeks for the firefighters and EMS,” said Executive Fire Commissioner Eric Jones. “Losing two firefighters in one week, plus the assaults on the EMS workers (last month). But they’ll persevere, because that’s what they do.”
Visitation for Sgt. Smith is scheduled from 4-7 p.m Friday at the James Cole Funeral Home, 16100 Schaefer, Detroit. A service is to follow at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Greater Life Apostolic Church, 5296 Tireman, Detroit.
“Sgt. Smith gave 23 years of dedicated service,” Jones said. “He was a beloved husband, family man — and a great firefighter. He will be missed.”
Capt. Szelag’s funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 7685 Grandville, Detroit, following a 10:30 a.m. family hour at the church.
“He loved the department and loved sailing,” Jones said of Szelag. “He chose to fight fires on the water. He’s also going to be missed by his family and his family on the department.”