Funeral Scheduled For New Jersey Deputy Fire Chief

(New Brunswick -WABC, September 8, 2004) -- There will be an emotional farewell today in New Brunswick. Hundreds of firefighters are expected to attend funeral services for a New Jersey firefighter who lost his life Friday.

Firefighters will gather from across the state to pay a final tribute to Deputy Fire Chief James D'Heron. He died Friday trying to get other people out of a burning house.

In New Brunswick last night, hundreds of firefighters paid tribute to a friend, to a hero. The wake for Deputy Chief James D'Heron. Last Friday, he rushed into a burning home on Lee Avenue all alone. He did it to alert the family inside. He did it without any protective gear.

When D'Heron first arrived at the scene, he noticed people weren't getting out of the three story building. It was three a-m.

He made a quick decision. He ran inside, screaming and banging on doors. Hoping to wake everyone up, and get them out. It would be his life and death decision.

Everyone else got out alive over 13 adults and two children. The hero firefighter, James D'Heron, did not.

Robert Mulaughlin, Fire Director: "Words cannot express the emptiness we feel. Chief D'Heron, our hero will be missed."

He was the first New Brunswick firefighter to die on duty in at least 50 years.

James Cahill, New Brunswick Mayor: "Jim and I have been friends since high school. He was a New Brunswick president and a firefighter's firefighter and skilled professional who was fearless and brave. A hero."

D'Heron had received three citations for heroism during his 24-year firefighting career. D'Heron's funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. at St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church. It will be followed by a procession to St. Peter's cemetery on Route 27.