Firefighter Remembered

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01-02-07 Tuesday, family, friends and a community spanning two states said goodbye to a fallen hero.

David Gilbert, Pastor at Truth Tabernacle Church said, "I never seen a more smiling individual in all my life when he hurt...he smiled when his body was broken...he smiled bad football tackles."

Hundreds of people filled the Truth Tabernacle Church, including firefighters from Texas and Oklahoma.

Those who spoke about Townsend remembered his passion for life, his job and his family.

"I saw him one day with his t-shirt on and he rubbed his finger on it two or three times making sure i read it and he was so proud...he made me proud," one friend said.

Townsend's cousin read emotional words from Phillip's father: "I don't know how I can go without him...he was my best friend and my only son....he was just a rookie and we were supposed to take care of him...I will never forgive myself."

After the ceremonies at the church. Fire Departments from both sides of the Red River joined in a procession through Denison, passing in front of Central Fire Station.

Following the funeral procession, Townsend was laid to rest at Kemp Cemetery in Oklahoma, with a final salute from his firefigher brothers.