Wake held for fallen Watertown firefighter Joseph Toscano

RANDOLPH, MASS. (WHDH) - Hundreds of mourners attended a wake Tuesday in Randolph for a firefighter who died in the line of duty while fighting a fire last week in Watertown.

Joseph Toscano, 54, collapsed from a medical emergency while fighting a fire on Friday. He was rushed to Mount Auburn Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He is the first Watertown firefighter to die in the line of duty since the late 1950s.

Toscano had been a member of the Watertown Fire Department since 1996. His fellow firefighters described him as a “true gentleman” who loved being a firefighter and was always there when needed. He was also remembered for his love of cooking and being the unofficial firehouse chef. They said their priority now is taking care of Toscano’s family.

“I don’t even have words, it’s so sad. It’s hard to fathom when your dad goes to work one day and doesn’t come home. It’s hard,” said St. Mary’s parishioner Justine McAugley.

Toscano, who lived in Randolph, is survived by his wife, Maureen, and five children. His wake was held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Randolph, where Toscano attended mass regularly with his family. Hundreds of people, including Gov. Charlie Baker and Toscano’s fellow firefighters, filed into the church to pay their respects. Maureen Toscano spoke to the media after the wake, where she thanked everyone for supporting her and her family.

“I just want to say thank you to the amazing outpouring of support from everyone in my community,” said Maureen Toscano. “It’s been incredible, all the people that have come out to pay honor to my husband Joseph and to be there for my family, support my family. So I just thank you all and just hope that his legacy will live on through my children.”

Thousands of firefighters from across the country are expected to gather Wednesday at St. Patrick’s Church in Watertown for Toscano’s funeral.

A memorial fund has been established for the family of Joseph Toscano.

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

Road closures in Watertown Wednesday due to Firefighter Toscano’s funeral:

1. Main Street will be closed from Watertown Square to Waverley Avenue.
2. Summer Street will be closed from Mt. Auburn Street to Waverley Avenue.
3. Green Street will be closed from Main Street to Pleasant Street.
4. Whites Avenue will be closed from Main Street to Summer Street.

The roads will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Town Hall and the library will also be closed Wednesday morning for the funeral and will reopen at 2 p.m.

(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)