The corner of the street where the fire that took the life of Watertown Firefighter Joe Toscano occurred could be named in his honor, as Watertown firefighters seek to create a memorial for their fallen comrade.
Tuesday night, the proposal was brought forward officially by East End Town Councilor Angeline Kounelis, who was supported by members of the Watertown Fire Department.
“This past March 17 a tragedy occurred in our community, something I hope we never go through again,” Kounelis said. “It is a morning that many of us will never forget.”
She proposed that the Town honor Toscano for making the “ultimate sacrifice” of giving his life in the line of duty by creating a permanent memorial.
The memorial would be placed at the corner of Merrifield Avenue and Bigelow Avenue, near the Merrifield Avenue house where Toscano died while fighting a fire.
Deputy Fire Chief Bob Quinn said the members of the Fire Department hope that a sign will be erected at the corner with Toscano’s name and indicating that he lost his life in the line of duty.
The Town recently created a policy for naming of memorials in town, which requires the person to be a member of the military killed in the line of duty. Toscano was not a veteran, but Veteran Services Officer Mark Comeiro told the Town Council that he supports the idea of creating the memorial for Toscano.
Members of the Watertown Fire Department approached Kounelis, because the tragedy occurred in District A, her Council District.
“I am honored to bring this forward, even though it is a bittersweet honor,” Kounelis said.
Town Council President Mark Sideris said Toscano’s memorial will be discussed and voted upon at the Aug. 8 Town Council meeting.
Later in the evening, Town Manager Michael Driscoll to the Town Council that the special legislation submitted to the State Legislature by the Town of Watertown to allow the Town to pay for the Toscano’s funeral costs had been signed by Gov. Charlie Baker, and the money had been paid to the funeral home. The legislation was needed because town had not adopted the state statute allowing municipalities to pay the cost of funerals of fire and police personnel who die in the line of duty. The Council also approved adopting the state statute when they approved paying for Toscano’s funeral costs.