Thousands of firefighters paid their final respects Friday to one of their own who they called a "fireman's fireman" who influenced many as an instructor and mentor.

 

The body of firefighter Gregory Barnas is brought to a Wallington church (CBS New York)

Services took place for Gregory Barnas in Wallington, a week after the 57-year-old died from injuries suffered when he fell from the roof of a restaurant while working to put out a fire.

Barnas was a 40-year volunteer of the Bergen County town's fire department and a 29-year veteran of the Jersey City Fire Department, where he was a captain.

The funeral began with a solemn procession from the funeral home to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. So many people attended that they had to be bused to the church from parking lots around the town, The Record reported.

"This has been the darkest week in our borough and I don't think any of us will ever forget it," borough Fire Commissioner Mark Tomko said. "But on this dark day we all band together as one family. Now as that long, 42-year journey comes to an end, Wallington salutes a true hero."

Barnas joined the Wallington Junior Fire Department as a teenager, and later served as chief of the Wallington Fire Department. He leaves behind his wife, Patricia, and two sons, Kevin and John, who also are firefighters.

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