DENISON, TX -- Remembering a fallen Denison firefighter one year later. Dozens of people showed their support at candle light vigil to reflect on the life of Phillip Townsend killed in the line of duty.
A mix of tears and laughter fills the atmosphere as family and co-workers pause to remember Phillip Townsend. They remembered him at the site where the tragic accident occurred, just one year ago.
"Phillip was a close friend to all the men that were here, we're here tonight to celebrate his life and just remember that he'll never be forgotten," says Lt. Brandon Eeeds, one of Phillip’s former co-workers.
Other firefighters say they can't talk about him without tearing up. Townsend died last year when the Wilbanks Appliance building collapsed on him while fighting a fire.
All that remains of the store is an empty lot, but it became a makeshift memorial with candles lining a wall. Even in the solemn atmosphere of the night, the vigil wasn't about his death, but celebrating his life. Friends say his life was one full of laughter, smiles, and fond memories for everyone here.
"Phillip was a good man, he was a good father, with 3 kids, he was a rookie firefighter with the fire department. But, in the short time he was there, he meant a lot to all the men.”
Even though the memories of Phillip will never leave those who attended, they hope for some closure after an event so tragic for so many.