Field House Hosts Thousands for Funeral Reception
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Within 72 hours, the field house at Webster Thomas High School was transformed into a reception area following Mike Chiapperini's funeral service.
Football Coach Schott Deuschle and countless volunteers set up tables and Wegmans employees worked through Saturday night to prepare donated food to feed 4,000 people.
Firefighters came from all over the country and Canada to show their support for their fallen brother.
One firefighter visiting from the Toronto area sat on a shuttle to the service with three generations of Chiapperini's and learned about a brother he never met.
"It's a shock," said Bruno Lamarre with the Mississauga Fire Department. "You don't want to jade the stereotypes, but knowing the area too, I mean, to see something like that in a small community, a nice community and that close to home. It's very similar to the neighborhood I live in. It's unfortunate. It's an unfortunate shock. And with all the other news that's going on, it's unfortunate that people just can't deal with their problems on their own. It's a senseless act."
Firefighters that attended said while Chiapperini's funeral was for the most part somber and emotional, there were times of laughter recalling humorous stories that were such a part of his character.