Funeral held for Chicago firefighter Mario Araujo, who died from COVID-19

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago firefighter who died from coronavirus was laid to rest Monday.

Fire and police vehicles took part in a procession for Mario Araujo. There was private ceremony as well.

RELATED: Chicago firefighter Mario Araujo dies from coronavirus, CFD says

Araujo died last week at the age of 49.

Bcause of restrictions on large gatherings due to COVID-19, only a small group was able to say goodbye in person, but hundreds of first responders and mourners joined in the procession, lining the streets as Araujo's hearse passed underneath the American flag draped across Pulaski Road.

"We drop everything and come whenever possible," said Scott Diehl with the South Elgin Fire Department.

Araujo was honored with a 21-gun salute at the cemetery.

"Unfortunately with the events we can not do what we normally do. I believe strongly in showing support for the fallen firefighters," Diehl said

Araujo's firehouse in Rogers Park was draped with purple bunting, only blocks away from where he lived as a child.

Family and friends remembered Araujo as a caring and giving man who put his family first.

"We grew up together, My dad coached their 5th and 6th grade teams," said Araujo's friend, Alejandro Miranda. "Miss a great person and a great civilian, but unfortunately they die young."

The Chicago Fire Department plans to hold another memorial service later on when it's safe for the public to come out to honor him.

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First responders line up to pay respects for Chicago firefighter Mario Araujo, who died from COVID-19.

Coronavirus deaths in Illinois by county; COVID-19 victims of all ages
Araujo, was a nearly 17-year veteran of the Fire Department. Araujo was assigned to Engine Company Number 102 in the 7300-block of North Clark Street. He worked on Truck 25

In addition to working as a Chicago firefighter, Araujo also worked part time for the Rosemont Fire Department, joining in 2015.
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