REDDING, Calif. - Community members in Redding and Red Bluff gathered to pay their respects to Redding fire chief Gerry Gray during an honorary funeral procession Thursday.
About 25 fire engines from the City of Redding, Red Bluff, Cal Fire and other firefighting agencies gathered early in front of the Redding Civic Auditorium before making their way to Red Bluff for fire chief Gerry Gray's funeral service.
The procession made its way through downtown Redding, going down California Street to Cypress Avenue where it passed in front of city hall which was Gray's place of work.
Hundreds of residents lined the streets to get a good view of the procession which was led by Redding's newest fire engine carrying Gray’s family and his ashes.
“Chief Gray was a huge part of our city,” Shelly Gould said. “He is, was an incredible person who basically is the glue for our Redding Fire Department.”
Gould's husband is a fire captain for the Redding Fire Department.
So Gray's death hit especially hard for her.
“We're a tight knit group, and this hurts,” Gould said. “But we're very proud of him and we're proud of the Redding fire department.”
The procession then made its way onto Interstate 5 and headed to Red Bluff where fire engines and crews lined up at nearly every overpass to honor the former Redding fire chief.
In Red Bluff, some parents and their children also showed up to pay their respects.
And even those who didn't know Gray still felt compelled to come out and show their support.
“We didn't know him personally,” Red Bluff Resident Dana Brent said. “We don't know all of his family. But it's more just a community member being part of a great community and showing that we care about him.”
The procession ended at Highpoint Assembly of God church where a sea of blue made up of law enforcement officers and firefighters waited to welcome the family.
“Our hearts break and they go out to Chief Gray, to his family” Brent said. “And we just want them to see that we support him, we support the firefighters. We appreciate all they do.”
REDDING, Calif. - The funeral procession for late Redding Fire Chief Gerry Gray made its way through the Redding community Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. the procession of fire trucks, firefighters and other law enforcement and city officials left the Redding Convention Center for the Highpoint Assembly of God Church in Red Bluff.. 40 to 60 fire engines were expected to take part in the procession. Some road closures were necessary to allow the procession to get to the church from Redding. Motorists were asked to show respect, and not cut through the funeral procession as it travels through the communities. Action News Now reporter Mario Montalvo was on the scene, and will have more details FIRST AT FOUR, here on Action News Now.
The services take place at 1:00 p.m. at the High Point Assembly of Good Church at 625 Luther Road in Red Bluff. At the end of the service there will be a reception at the Tehama County Fairgrounds in the Tyler Jelly bilding at 650 Antelope Boulevard in Red Bluff.