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Governor honors Stroble with flags at half staff

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Public invited to attend memorial service Friday

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order Wednesday, ordering all state flags be flown at half staff in honor of fallen Roswell Firefighter Jeff Stroble.

Flags are to be flown at half staff from sundown Thursday through sundown Friday, according to a press release from the governor’s office announcing the order.

“My heart is broken for Jeff Stroble’s family and the people who knew him,” Lujan Grisham said in the press release. “Firefighters are the backbone of our communities. I know Roswell has rallied around the family and fire department in this impossibly difficult time. His family, friends and loved ones are in my prayers.”

A fire apparatus operator for the Roswell Fire Department for 17 years, Stroble, 46, of Roswell, died Sunday at the United Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, where he was being treated for burns he received in the line of duty.

Stroble’s injuries resulted from a June 5 explosion that occurred while he and other fire department personnel were preparing fireworks for the city’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display.

Robert “Hoby” Bonham, 36, of Roswell, and a firefighter with the Roswell Fire Department for 18 years, was also seriously injured in the explosion. He was released from the hospital and returned home June 30, after undergoing treatment at United Medical Center.

The public is invited to attend a memorial service for Stroble Friday, July 26 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Roswell Convention & Civic Center at 912 N. Main St. A procession to honor Stroble will follow the memorial service at South Park Cemetery at 3101 S. Main St., where a burial will take place with a firefighter ceremony and honors, which will include a final call and a flag presentation to Stroble’s family.

The procession will begin immediately after the memorial service, leaving the Convention & Civic Center, heading south on Richardson Avenue, past Fire Station One at 200 S. Richardson Ave., then continuing east on Alameda Street and south on Main Street. The procession will end at South Park Cemetery, according to a news release issued by the city of Roswell Wednesday.

Law enforcement officers will close off intersections along the procession route.

Engine 6 will lead the procession. Engine 10, which will be draped in black and carrying Stroble’s body, will follow behind along with the honor guard. 

Engine 6, Engine 10 and the honor guard, along with members of the Stroble family, will come to a halt in front of Fire Station One and remain halted for 192 seconds as a tribute to Stroble’s helmet and Roswell Fire Department No. 192, according to the release.

The procession is estimated to last about one hour and will cause some delays in traffic along the route.

Following the graveside service for Stroble, a private ceremony will be held at the Convention & Civic Center for family, friends and state and local agencies honoring Stroble. The private ceremony will not be accessible to the public, according to the release.

In lieu of flowers, the Roswell Fire Department requests that donations be made to the account at Pioneer Bank that has been established for Stroble and his family.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.