Firefighters and civilians crowded the Packard Music Hall Wednesday afternoon to pay their respects to Warren firefighter Marc Titus and express their condolences to his loved ones.
Outside, fire vehicles from as near as Howland and as far as Boardman filled the lot.
Titus, 46, of Cortland, was killed about 11:30 p.m. June 7 when his motorcycle collided with a tractor-trailer that had crashed on state Route 11 near the King Graves Road exit in Fowler. He was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple blunt traumas.
Firefighters gather outside Packard Music Hall on Wednesday after attending calling hours for Warren firefighter Marc J. Titus.
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
The flag in front of the music hall was at half-staff as friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances poured into the building where Titus' casket was on display below a screen flashing photos of the firefighter and former Marine.
Titus' fire department jacket and gear were displayed just to the right of the casket, which was flanked at all times by two honor guards. The calling hours also included a last alarm ceremony.
Titus began his career as a Warren firefighter in 1991, and served as president of International Association of Firefighters Local 204 for the past eight years.
He was recently active in leading the charge against Senate Bill 5 and was instrumental in obtaining a S.A.F.E.R. grant that brought in federal dollars to hire more than 20 firefighters.
One attendee at Wednesday's memorial was Jerry Miluk, union president for the Parma Heights Fire Department.
"I knew Marc through the union, and obviously through the SB5 fight he was so strong in," Miluk said. "That's best compliment I can give, is that he was a great man for his union, and he was a great firefighter and a great guy."
Titus also received the State Fire Marshal's Award for Heroism after helping to pull four people from a burning home on Bonnie Brae Avenue S.E. in 2009.
Planned for today are a private service at 11 a.m. and a procession, according to Warren fire Chief Kenneth Nussle.
After the funeral services, which will include a 21-gun salute in honor of Titus' service in the Marine Corps, the procession will travel down Mahoning Avenue to Summit Street to Tod Avenue, then to West Market Street and the fire station, where he will receive a final salute.
The procession, which will include most members of the Warren Fire Department, will continue on to Leo's Ristorante in Howland.
Nussle said firefighters from other departments will help cover the shift.
The first crash involved James Black Jr., 49, of Sharon, Pa., driving a 2002 Peterbilt tractor with a partially raised 1993 East Dump Bed trailer north on Route 11. The dump bed hit the King Graves Road bridge overpass, causing the tractor-trailer to flip onto its side on the right side of the road.
Shortly after the truck flipped, Titus, traveling north in the right lane on his motorcycle, ran into the overturned vehicle.
Black was taken to Trumbull Memorial Hospital for treatment of what troopers described as ''non life-threatening injuries.''
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating both accidents separately.