Local officials, family hold funeral ceremony for 4-year-old honorary fire chief

Local News

WESLACO, Texas (KVEO) — The Perez family was joined by local officials for a final goodbye ceremony and procession for 4-year-old Justin Perez.

Family, friends, and local officials gathered to say their final goodbyes followed by a procession to San Martin De Porres Catholic Church in Weslaco.

Justin, who was a Make-A-Wish child and dreamed of becoming a firefighter, passed away last week.

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PHOTO: Sal Castro KVEO

Last month the McAllen Fire Department received a call from the Hidalgo County Fire Marshall’s Office to help Justin live out his dream.

The Hidalgo County Fire Marshall’s Office, McAllen Fire Department, Edinburg Fire Department, and a few other departments in the area came together to make that wish come true.

With joint efforts, Justin became an honorary fire chief for a day.

“We had an awesome day here at the station,” said Juan Gloria, McAllen’s Fire Department Assistant Chief.

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Gloria told KVEO that the day was full of activities, including Justin putting out a small, contained fire. Justin was also gifted his own bunker gear, a helmet, a badge, a radio strap, and flew in a helicopter with the Department of Public Safety.

That uniform was hung up today in honor of Justin at the Guerra Funeral Home.

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Gloria said the McAllen Fire Department will keep the memory of Perez strong as they hang the portrait Make-A-Wish gifted them.

The portrait will hang in Gloria’s office for “years to come.”

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