WATERTOWN (CBS) — A line of firefighters stretched around the block Tuesday afternoon at a wake for one of their fallen brothers.
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Friends and family began saying goodbye to Watertown firefighter Joseph Toscano.
The 54-year-old veteran firefighter died after suffering a medical emergency while responding to a fire last Friday.
The wake was held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on North Main Street in Randolph.
A visit from Governor Charlie Baker capped off a day of mourning and gratitude and Toscano’s widow took notice.
“It’s been incredible, all of the people that have come out to pay honor to my husband Joseph and to be there for my family and to support my family,” Maureen Toscano said.
“We’re sad to be here and have to go through this process but we’re going to attempt to give him the honor he deserves for the great man he was,” said Watertown Deputy Fire Chief Bob Quinn.
“This is a very tough day. Joe was a really special guy, a true gentleman,” said Watertown Fire Lt. Rob Mannix. “Our priority right now is to take care of Joe’s family and second the guys who were in the building with him that day.”
Inside the church, Cardinal Sean O’Malley met with and consoled Joe’s widow Maureen and their kids.READ MORE: 2 Burlington driveway workers seriously hurt when dump truck contacts live wires
“Joe like so many others before him have led courageous and generous lives and gave important service to our community,” O’Malley said.
Toscano’s body will remain in the church overnight, with firefighters standing watch.
Wednesday morning, a funeral procession will leave the church in Randolph for St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Watertown at 9 a.m.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Toscano is survived by his wife and five children. A memorial fund has been set up for the Toscano family.
“I just hope that his legacy will live on through my children,” Maureen Toscano said.
Businesses in Randolph came together Tuesday to honor Firefighter Toscano by putting up signs in his memory.
The sign outside Walgreen’s on North Main Street reads “Joe Toscano Last Call 3/17 Rest In Peace.”
Even residents who didn’t know the firefighter are calling him a hero.
“It’s a sad day, but it’s nice to see how much he was respected and loved,” one woman told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe. “He’ll be missed.”MORE NEWS: Patrice Bergeron named finalist for Selke Award for 11th straight season
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports