Hundreds gather to pay respects to fallen firefighter

? Firefighters from across the state and New York gathered in Elizabeth Monday for the funeral of Gary Stephens, a 28-year fire department veteran who was killed at the scene of a fire Friday. An estimated

News 12 Staff

Jan 6, 2009, 11:28 AM

Updated 5,674 days ago

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? Firefighters from across the state and New York gathered in Elizabeth Monday for the funeral of Gary Stephens, a 28-year fire department veteran who was killed at the scene of a fire Friday.
An estimated 1,000 firefighters gathered at St. John?s Episcopal Church on Broad Street for the funeral. Although fellow firefighters and Stephens? family are devastated, the Elizabeth fire chief says support from the community has helped them through the difficult time.
?For certain individuals it?s going to take a few days, a few months,? says Elizabeth Fire Chief Edward Sisk. ?But we have had a great support system in place. The city administration has just been overwhelming, the police department, the support from the other fire departments throughout the state, even from New York, they called and offered whatever assistance they could give us.?
FDNY firefighters were also at the funeral. They say Elizabeth firefighters supported them after Sept. 11, and they wanted to do the same following the loss of Stephens.
Stephens was killed at a fire scene when he was accidentally run over by another firefighter. A 19-year-old homeless man, Emilio Vasquez, has been charged with arson and murder for allegedly starting that fire. He is being held on $650,000 bail.For interviews from Gary Stevens' funeral, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.
Firefighterdies at scene of suspicious Elizabeth fire


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