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Residents offer condolences as fire chief’s body escorted back to Lynden

Lynden welcomes home Fire Chief Robert Spinner

A procession of local law enforcement and emergency vehicles escort the Lynden Fire Department as they bring home the body of Lynden Fire Chief Robert Spinner from Bellingham Tuesday, July 18, 2017.
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A procession of local law enforcement and emergency vehicles escort the Lynden Fire Department as they bring home the body of Lynden Fire Chief Robert Spinner from Bellingham Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

Crowds of Whatcom County residents joined public officials and firefighters Tuesday afternoon in lining area streets for a procession carrying the body of Lynden Fire Chief Robert Spinner from the medical examiner’s office to a Lynden funeral home.

Spinner, 50, suffered an apparent heart attack while exercising Friday. He is the first line of duty death in the 107-year history of the Lynden Fire Department and the second such fatality in Whatcom County.

Spinner was a 25-year veteran of the fire service. He joined Lynden Fire as its assistant chief in October 2010 and was named interim chief in April 2017 after Chief Gary Baar retired.

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Philip A. Dwyer pdwyer@bhamherald.com

In a longtime fire service tradition, Lynden firefighters have been keeping an around-the-clock vigil at the medical examiner’s office, where Spinner’s body arrived under escort following an autopsy. That vigil will continue at Gillies Funeral Home, 202 Front St., until Spinner’s funeral at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden.

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