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Fallen Watertown Firefighter Joseph Toscano's Children Give Emotional Tribute To Their Father

WATERTOWN (CBS) – A fallen Watertown firefighter was remembered Wednesday by his children and the community as an incredible father and a great example to the hundreds of firefighters that came to pay their respects at his funeral.

Joseph Toscano died last week after collapsing while fighting a fire at a Watertown home. The 54-year-old is survived by his wife and five children.

Watertown Firefighter Funeral
Family members of Watertown firefighter Joseph Toscano arrive for his funeral. (WBZ-TV)

Toscano's body left his hometown of Randolph just after 9 a.m. Wednesday as part of a procession to St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Watertown for the 11 a.m. funeral. As many as 2,000 firefighters came to pay their respects.

Two limo buses with family and relatives rode behind a fire truck carrying Toscano's casket. One hundred bag pipers played in tribute as a part of the procession.

Watertown Firefighter Funeral
The procession for firefighter Joseph Toscano. (WBZ-TV)

Six pallbearers were firefighters, while 12 family members served as honorary pallbearers.

Toscano's daughter Alyssa, with her siblings by her side, recalled getting the news that families of all firefighters dread.

"My lifelong fear as a fireman's daughter came true," she said. "I'm now living my worst nightmare."

But Alyssa Toscano said her parents prepared her for this day, raising all five children to be strong, confident and caring.

Joseph Toscano family
Watertown firefighter Joseph Toscano's children. (WBZ-TV)

"He was so adventurous and wanted to instill that in all of us," she said. "We are so thankful to have had a dad like him."

There was a long ovation for the Toscano children as Alyssa embraced her mother after the speech.

"They are literally, looking at them this morning, the all-American family," said Father Ron Coyne during his homily.

Coyne described Toscano as a man of faith, a great husband, father and true hero as a firefighter.

Joseph Toscano
Watertown firefighter Joseph Toscano. (WBZ-TV)

Watertown Deputy Chief Bob Quinn recalled Toscano as a family man, who loved fishing and being a firefighter. He could do it all, Quinn said.

"Joe loved being a Watertown firefighter. He came in every day with a smile, no matter what," said Quinn.

Quinn told stories of Toscano's love for cooking for his fellow firefighters, and how Toscano regaled him with stories of his family and their trips to Michigan.

"The Watertown Fire Department and the entire community of Watertown will never forget you," Quinn said. "We will hold you as an example of how we should live our own lives – with valor and courage, but also with compassion, sacrifice and love. I will miss you my good friend."

Watertown Firefighter Funeral
Joseph Toscano's fire helmet rests atop his casket. (WBZ-TV)

Longtime friend Marcus DeFlorimonte also gave a eulogy during the funeral service. DeFlorimonte and Toscano were friends for the last 40 years.

"Joe, you humbled me and my heart was forever touched by you," said DeFlorimonte. "Thank you for your love and your friendship my brother."

On Tuesday, a line of firefighters stretched around the block at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Randolph for Toscano's wake.

Gov. Charlie Baker was among the many who paid their respects to the fallen firefighter.

"I just hope that his legacy will live on through my children," Joseph's wife, Maureen Toscano said outside the wake on Tuesday.

A memorial fund has been set up for the Toscano family.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kim Tunnicliffe reports

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