‘In our hearts forever’: Tearful family, friends, colleagues say goodbye to fallen firefighter

WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP/WHDH) — Friends, family and hundreds of firefighters gathered Wednesday to bid a tearful farewell to a Massachusetts firefighter who collapsed while battling a house fire and died.

Hundreds of uniformed firefighters from around the country and others packed St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Watertown for Joseph Toscano’s funeral. Highway signs around Boston conveyed a simple message before Wednesday’s service: “Rest in Peace Firefighter Joseph A. Toscano.”

The 54-year-old Randolph resident and married father of five suffered a medical emergency last Friday while fighting the fire. He was rushed to Mount Auburn Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Toscano’s oldest daughter, Alyssa, delivered a powerful eulogy, standing alongside her four siblings. Alyssa Toscano said her father loved cooking and the outdoors and always made time for children.

“My lifelong fear as a fireman’s daughter became true. I always feared this day would come as a little girl,” Alyssa Toscano said. “I am now living my worst nightmare.”

Deputy Chief Bob Quinn remembered Toscano as the station’s chef, whose dedication to helping others was unmatched.

“You will be missed Joey T,” Quinn said. “You were a fantasitc husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend.”

Toscano grew up in Massapequa, New York, on Long Island, and was a 20-year veteran of the Watertown Fire Department.

“We will miss him so much everyday, but we know he will be watching over us,” Alyssa Toscano said. “He will be in our hearts forever.”

A memorial fund has been established to help Toscano’s family. Donations can be made to the Watertown Firefighters Relief Association.

Donations may be sent to:
Watertown Firefighters Relief Association
Toscano Fund
99 Main St.
Watertown, MA 02472

(Copyright (c) 2018 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)