BERWICK, Maine (CBS) - Firefighters began a 24-hour vigil over the body of Berwick Fire and Rescue Captain Joel Barnes on Saturday.
Barnes, 32, died in a Bell Street apartment fire Friday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but authorities believe Barnes was leading another firefighter into the building for an interior attack when conditions suddenly worsened.
"Captain Barnes died a hero, battling a large and dangerous building fire. He made the ultimate sacrifice for his community," said Berwick Fire Chief Dennis Plante.
Meanwhile, Boston Fire Commissioner Joe Finn tweeted out his condolences.
Barnes's family is asking for time to grieve but did release a statement.
"Joel always wanted to be a firefighter. He died doing the job he loved, helping his brother firefighters. Joel died a hero, and while nothing can ease the tremendous sense of loss and grief that we are now feeling, we are proud that his final actions were selfless," the statement said.
Barnes leaves his mother, father, sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew, along with extended family.
The vigil will continue without interruption until the funeral services.
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