Thousands Attend Baytown, Texas Firefighter's Funeral

HOUSTON (AP) -- More than 2,000 people attended the funeral of a Baytown firefighter who died after rushing into a burning home in search of victims.

The memorial service was held Friday for 24-year-old rookie firefighter Nito Guajardo.

``Nito, we miss you, and brother, we'll never forget you,'' fellow firefighter Tom Carr said in his eulogy.

After the service, his casket, draped in the U.S. flag, was carried by pallbearers and placed upon a vintage Baytown firetruck.

Guajardo, buried in a private ceremony at Forest Park East Cemetery, was among firefighters who rushed into the burning home on Monday, assuming someone was inside.

Once inside, the fire worsened and the other firefighters ran out. But Guajardo did not and he was later found near the front door. It turned out that the home was vacant.

Investigators have not released a cause of death or cause of the fire. It has been nearly 30 years since a Baytown firefighter died in the line of duty.

Guajardo, who would have celebrated his first anniversary with the department in two weeks, was engaged to be married.