WORCESTER, Mass. — A Massachusetts firefighter who died battling a house fire earlier this year has been honored with the state’s most prestigious firefighting award.

Watertown firefighter Joseph Toscano was posthumously awarded the state’s Medal of Honor on Tuesday. The 54-year-old married father of five was on the scene of a fire on March 17 when he collapsed. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead of a heart attack. The Randolph resident was a 21-year veteran of the Watertown department.

Dozens of firefighters from 22 departments were honored at the ceremony in Worcester attended by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and state Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey.

They were honored for acts of bravery, meritorious conduct and public service.

Firefighters from Boston, Braintree, Brockton, Brookline, Holyoke, Mansfield and Norwood received Medals of Valor.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.