PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Family, friends and firefighters packed a local church today to say a final goodbye to a young man from Pittsburgh who died during a firefighter training session in Buffalo.
Lt. Jarrett Eleam served the Big Tree Volunteer Fire Company in Hamburg, New York. He passed away earlier this month.
During his funeral today at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, family and friends reflected on his life both there and during his formative years in Pittsburgh.
It has been a difficult year for the Eleam family, within a year they’ve lost three family members. The latest being 26-year-old Jarrett Eleam; he died of a stroke after breathing apparatus training.
A busload of firefighters came to the funeral service today to pay tribute to Eleam’s life. He was a graduate of Oliver High School and Duquesne University.
However, it was his work as a firefighter that took center stage today.
“Jarrett was deeply concerned with improving his skills as a firefighter; taking extra courses, attending our trainings, making the top 10 responders every month,” said Tom Gilmore, of the Big Tree Fire Company.
His brother firefighters also took Eleam’s casket to their fire truck for one last ride together during today service.
“I wish I had answers for you. I wish I could tell you why this happened,” added Rev. James Hunt, of First Baptist Church in Penn Hills. “I don’t know, that’s God’s business; but I do know this, that God doesn’t make mistakes.”
Eleam was an organ donor, and as a result, his family says as many as 50 people will benefit from his gift of life.