Sadness and pride at funeral for beloved St. Paul firefighter who died on duty


Hundreds of mourners paid their respects to beloved St. Paul firefighter Shane Clifton as he was laid to rest Wednesday.

The 38-year-old fireman collapsed due to a heart attack while on duty at Station 14 last month, and later died at the hospital. He had earlier told colleagues he wasn't feeling well after exercising.

On Wednesday, representatives of California, New York and Wisconsin fire departments joined personnel from every city and county fire service in Minnesota for the procession between the service at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church to Clifton's final resting place at Fort Snelling, according to the St. Paul Fire Foundation.

The Pioneer Press reports that 1,200 were in attendance at the funeral, 800 of whom were representatives of the fire service, with Gov. Mark Dayton and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman joining the mourners.

It proved particularly poignant as the procession passed Clifton's Station 14 on Snelling Avenue, with on-duty firefighters

">lining up to salute their lost colleague.

FOX 9 reports St. Paul Fire Chief Tim Butler said Clifton was "a living monument to the fire service," praising the father of two not only for his service but also his sense of humor.

After the service, Mayor Coleman tweeted: "I'm so proud of the tremendous support shown [by] St. Paul Fire Dept. and the entire community as Shane Clifton takes final journey to Ft. Snelling."

U.S. Representative for Minnesota Betty McCollum also paid tribute on the floor of Congress on Wednesday, which you can watch below.

A paramedic as well as a firefighter, Clifton will be given full military and fire service honors, FOX 9 notes.

It was previously reported Clifton was a Navy veteran and also worked as an emergency department technician at Unity Hospital in Fridley prior to joining the fire department.

He is survived by his two children, aged 8 and 1.

He was the 63rd St. Paul firefighter to die in the line of duty, and the first to die on duty since 2009, according to the Local 21 Union’s website.

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