What began as a holiday trip ended tragically for a beloved Lodi firefighter, his fellow first responders and loved ones.
Antonio Mercado III died in a Texas hospital on Monday after being admitted several days earlier, friends and fellow firefighters said.
Mercado, who'd suffered from heart trouble, had been with Lodi Rescue Truck Co. 1. Before that, he rode with Hose Co. 1.
A father and grandfather, he was 48.
Visiting is this Sunday, Jan. 30, at Funeraria Alvarez, 66 Passaic Avenue in Passaic: (973) 815-0080.
Time frames will be strict, according to his daughter, Antonia Mercado:
Family and friends will gather from 2 to 4 p.m., she said.
Firefighters, EMTs and military members are scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Masks are required, she said.
A brief funeral service will be held there at 10 a.m. Monday, followed by burial in Crest Haven Memorial Park, 750 Passaic Ave., Passaic.
Antonia Mercado created a GoFundMe campaign that she said will be used to bring her father's body back to New Jersey and pay for the funeral.
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