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30 April 2010, 17:14
Hundreds of people have lined the streets - for the funeral of a Hampshire firefighter to die tackling flames at a block of flats.
35 year old James Shears lost his life on April 6th alongside his colleague Alan Bannon.
James leaves behind his four and five year old sons and wife Carla.
In a statement released by Carla Shears, she said:
“My Jim was a hero in every aspect of his life. He was a truly dedicated hands-on father to his two boys he adored and who in return adored him. To me, Jim was a wonderfully caring, funny husband, my rock.
“Jim always made me feel special and we knew how lucky we were to have found the love we shared. Jim was close to all his family, immediate and extended, and all his many, many friends will have endless memories of the good times they enjoyed with their mate Jim.
“Jim touched the hearts of so many people and I know with him now gone it will have left a huge sense of loss in these peoples’ hearts.
I am not sure how we will cope without our Jim lighting up our lives but I find comfort in knowing his wonderful qualities will undoubtedly shine on through his gorgeous sons.
On the 6th of April I lost the most wonderful man I have ever known and heaven gained a hero.”
Thanking members of the public for their attendance, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Chief Officer John Bonney, said:
"As a member of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, James was part of a team who as a matter of course and routine face risk to protect the public. The whole fire service community mourns him - but also recognises the sacrifice that one of its own firefighters gave in the service of others.
“We will continue James’ work of caring and heroism. He will be truly be missed, and always remembered.”
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service would also like to thank everyone who went to Firefighter Bannon’s funeral service which was held in Southampton on Tuesday.