Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Hundreds visited St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Binghamton to pay their final respects to firefighter John Janos, 57, who died Saturday morning after responding to a call.
"John was a well-rounded, good man," said Bill Newland, a retired firefighter and former president of the local firefighter's union. "Not only a good firefighter but a great family man and father."
Most of the eulogies focused on Janos' service to the community and personal life. That included Mayor Matthew Ryan's eulogy, which called Janos the embodiment of the great American firefighter.
"They don't just fight fires," he said. "They bring a cohesiveness to the community and it's a tradition."
Janos leaves behind a lasting legacy within the department. He co-authored the department's mission statement and helped form the department's HAZMAT unit. Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he took charge of the local 9/11 Commission. As union president, he fought for better wages and safer conditions, Newland said.
"He touched everybody's life in one way or another," he said. "I never heard an unkind word said about him."
A preliminary autopsy ruled Janos' death to be heart related. A full autopsy report will be released in a few weeks.