Procession honors late Rice Lake Township Fire Chief

By KBJR News 1

December 13, 2013 Updated Dec 14, 2013 at 1:25 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A motorcade of red made its way through the streets of Duluth on Friday to pay tribute to a Northland Fire Chief who died on Monday.

42-year-old Matt Frantz was remembered for his passion and dedicated service to the Rice Lake Fire Department with a procession fit for a fallen Fire Chief.

From Grand Rapids to Proctor, fire officials made their way through the streets of east Duluth to pay their respects to the 13 year veteran who died unexpectedly on Monday.

The procession of more than two dozen emergency vehicles from all across the Northland escorted the body of Chief Frantz from Doughtery's Funeral Home to St. John's Church in Duluth.

Officials from neighboring communities say the Fire Chief's untimely death hits close to home for everyone in the firefighting community.

"This is a celebration of his life and his leadership as Fire Chief and his sacrifice to his community and to his township and his city. It means a lot, it really shows the Rice Lake Fire Department and their members and his family that the support for them is much larger than they may ever think," said Deputy Chief Charlie Smith, Duluth Fire Department.

Because Chief Frantz died within 24 hours of response to an emergency call, the Rice Lake Fire department recognized his death as one in the line of duty.

In addition to his volunteer firefighting service, Frantz served as a Sergeant in the Army National Guard.

Frantz leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday at St. John's Church beginning at 11 a.m.

Full military honors by the Duluth Honor Guard and fire honors will follow the service.

Jeremy Brickley
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