State Forest Service Firefighter Jeffrey Scheuerer Laid To Rest In Readington [VIDEO]
A firefighter for the state Forest Service who lost his life during a controlled burn last week was laid to rest in his hometown of Readington today.
Warden Jeffrey Scheurer was struck and killed while working along Route 629 in Clinton Township on Thursday.
Over 1,000 people came to pay their respects to the 35-year-old Scheurer who worked part time for the state Forest Fire Service and was a longtime member of the Readington Volunteer Fire Company. A Readington Township fire truck led a procession of trucks and equipment from 25 companies to the Lourdes Roman Catholic Church carrying Scheuerer's cremated remains in an urn according to the Easton Express-Times.
"He never thought much of himself but everyone who knew him thought a lot of him,"his former roommate, Kevin Casavant, told the Express-Times.
As mourners including members of the New Jersey Department of Parks and Forestry, Whitehouse, Readington and Newark fire departments lined outside the church Amazing Grace was played.
Scheuerer was a self-employed carpenter accorrding to WFMZ TV. Firefighting ran in the family; Dana Blasberg tells the Hunterdon County Democrat that Jeffrey's mother was a past member of the Readington and Raritan-Flemington rescue squads and his brother Dave works as a firefighter at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
The Democrat reports that Scheuerer may have been the first state Fire Service firefighter to be killed in the line of duty since 1977.
The Ocean County Police Blotter Facebook page Governor Christie issued a proclamation directing flags to be lowered at the State House in Trenton from Tuesday, April 2, 2013 to Monday, April 8, 2013 to honor Scheuerer
"Jeffrey Scheuerer was an outstanding young man who had a remarkable sense of duty and commitment to our state and to his community,'' said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin. "His service began as a young teen and continued for the rest of his life. He is a role model for all of us when it comes to the value of community service," said Christie in a statement.
The county prosecutor's office says the preliminary investigation indicates heavy smoke associated with the controlled burn may have reduced visibility when the wind shifted and contributed to the accident that Scheuerer's life.
Photos & video courtesy Brian McCarthy
The Associated Press contributed to this story.