WATERTOWN (CBS) — Dozens of firefighters lined the streets Saturday morning as a medical examiner’s truck carried the body of a 21-year veteran of the Watertown fire department who died in the line of duty.

Joseph Toscano, 54, died following a medical emergency as he battled a two alarm blaze on Merrifield Avenue Friday.

READ MORE: "Time for the village to step up": Volunteers help ease nationwide baby formula shortage

Watertown firefighter Joseph Toscano. (WBZ-TV)

Toscano’s body was escorted by Massachusetts State Police cruisers and two Watertown ladder trucks along the eight-mile procession route.

Firefighters lined Albany Street outside the medical examiner’s office. Dressed in full gear, they saluted as the truck passed by.

Toscano leaves behind a wife and five children, ranging in age from 12 to 19.

A fund has been set up to benefit the family.

Deputy Fire Chief Bob Quinn told reporters Friday that the Toscanos were taking Joseph’s loss hard.

READ MORE: Video: Likely tornado spotted in Charlestown, New Hampshire

“I was at the hospital when they arrived,” Quinn said. “It was devastating when his five kids came into the room, and his wife. And he left to go to work like he did every day, and to have this happen, it’s pretty devastating.”

Firefighters salute the body of Joseph Toscano. (WBZ-TV)

Quinn said Toscano served as his right-hand man and his aide for several years.

“He was my eyes and ears inside the fire,” he said. “I’m outside watching the exterior of the building, he’s inside, working the inside, telling me what’s going on.”

The Toscano family is still in the process of making funeral arrangements.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

MORE NEWS: Bail hearing postponed for Nathan Carman, charged in mom's death at sea