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Thousands Pay Tribute At Worcester Firefighter Funeral

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Jon Davies

Jon Davies

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WORCESTER (CBS/AP) — Thousands of people paid their final respects Thursday to a Worcester firefighter who was killed in the line of duty last week.

View: Images From The Funeral

Forty-three-year-old Jon Davies died after getting trapped in a burning home while looking for a possible victim in a house fire December 8.

Read: Funeral Program (.pdf)

A two-hour funeral Mass for Davies was held at a packed Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. Burial followed at St. John’s Cemetery.

Watch a WBZ-TV recap of the funeral:

Read: Jon Davies: Life Legacy

Firefighters from across the country came to Worcester to honor Davies.  Governor Deval Patrick, U.S. Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown, Rep. Jim McGovern, and Attorney General Martha Coakley joined the mourners, many of whom lined the streets leading to the church.

Also in attendance was 11-year-old Jared Flanders of Worcester, who put on a tie and rode his bike on his own to Davies’ wake Wednesday.

Firefighters were so impressed by his pride they invited him to ride on Davies’ truck to the church Thursday.

“My brother has fulfilled his purpose. Many found a new hero,” Davies’ brother Rob said in the eulogy.  “We hope Jon inspires people for generations to come.”

“His sons always came first. He continues to save lives as an organ donor,” Rob said.

“Jon made the ultimate sacrifice.  If you knew him like I did, you would expect nothing less,” his partner Brian Carroll said near the end of the funeral mass.

“Rest in peace Jon.  You will never be forgotten.”

WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports

In keeping with tradition, a bell was rung at the end of the service to signal Davies’ final call.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

Davies died during the Dec. 8 fire after he and his partner went back into the home because they thought a tenant might still be inside. The building collapsed trapping them.

Investigators combed through the rubble for several days before determining there was no body.

The man thought to be trapped was arrested Wednesday on unrelated charges.

Davies’ death came days after the anniversary of the Worcester Cold Storage building fire that killed six firefighters on Dec. 3, 1999.

A fund has been set up for family. Memorial donations can be made to the Davies Children Fund, care of the Worcester Fire Department Credit Union, 34 Glennie St Worcester Mass 01605.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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