Hundreds of firefighters gathered Friday to honor the veteran fire captain who died fighting a fire at a restaurant in New Jersey last week.
Services were held for Gregory Barnas at the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Wallington; they began with a solemn procession from the funeral home to the church.
The 57-year-old Barnas died Feb. 28 when he fell while cutting a hole in the roof of the Akasaka restaurant while responding to a blaze there with the Wellington Fire Department.
Barnas was a 29-year veteran with the Jersey City Fire Department, where he rose to the rank of captain. He also volunteered for 42 years with Wallington Fire Department, and was that department's chief in 1997. Barnas' two sons, John and Kevin, are both also firefighters.
Wallington Fire Commissioner Mark Tomko will deliver a eulogy at the service.
"I can't get the words down that I really want to say," Tomko said Thursday. " All I know is it will be from the heart."
Hundreds of firefighters from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania attended his viewing on Thursday. A large American flag was hung from two fire trucks outside Barnas' funeral home before that service.
Gov. Chris Christie issued a proclamation Thursday to fly flags at the New Jersey State House at half-staff through Wednesday in honor of Barnas, the Star Ledger reports.
Brian Thompson and Tracie Strahan contributed