Remains of West Linn firefighter Percin to arrive in Portland today

PORTLAND, Ore. - The remains of firefighter John Percin Jr. will arrive in Portland today, where it will be met by a procession of fire, law enforcement and public safety personnel as it makes its way to a Lake Oswego fire station.

Percin, a West Linn High School graduate who was one of 19 firefighters who died June 30 while fighting a wildfire in Arizona, will arrive at PDX at 11:15 a.m., then proceed down I-205 and across Highway 43 to Lake Oswego.

The procession is expected to conclude between noon and 1 p.m at Lake Oswego's main fire station, where Percin's urn will be kept for three days.

Those wishing to watch the procession can do so from I-205 overpasses, officials said.

Those wishing to pay tribute to Percin can do so between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the fire station at 300 B. Ave.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin.

All on-ramps to southbound Interstate 205 between Portland International Airport and West Linn will be closed Wednesday during the procession.

Never alone

It's fire service tradition to keep the body of a dead firefighter guarded until he or she is laid to rest.

All 19 dead members of the Hotshots crew have been accompanied since the tragedy.

"Since they were discovered, they have never been out of the presence of a brother firefighter," said Paul Bourgeois, a Phoenix-area fire chief acting as a spokesman in Prescott for the firefighters' families. "From the time they were taken to the medical examiner in Phoenix, while they're at the medical examiner's office, when they are received in a funeral home - there will always be a brother firefighter on site with them until they are interred."

A 24-hour rotating watch will remain with Percin's urn until his family's private memorial service on Friday.

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