Hundreds gather to say goodbye to Dallas firefighter

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by CYNTHIA VEGA

WFAA

Posted on June 30, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 30 at 11:36 PM

GARLAND - Hundreds of North Texas firefighters gathered at a Garland church to say goodbye to a fallen Dallas firefighter. Funeral services for 35-year-old Chris Pham were held Thursday at Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Garland.

Still no word on Pham's cause of death, but there was more on how he lived. The only thing he loved more than being a Dallas firefighter was his family.

His immediate family, along with his brother and sister firefighters from as far away as Mansfield filed into the 1,500 seat church. 

The Catholic service was delivered in both English and Vietnamese in honor of Pham's family. Pham was born in Saigon. At the age of three, he escaped by boat with his mom, two brothers and a sister to a refugee camp in Malaysia. Two years later, they came to the states, settling in Garland. Pham's dad and other brothers arrived ten years later.

Pham's dream of becoming a Dallas firefighter finally came true five years ago. As a firefighter and paramedic, Pham was known for being soft-spoken, but hard-working and very devoted to serving the Dallas community.

Dallas Fire Chief Eddie Burns addressed the large crowd of firefighters, thanking them for their own commitment to firefighting, and praying for their "health, safety and valor."

He added "May God bless each one of you."

Burns told the crowd Pham was known to the Dallas community as a helping hand. As Burns said, "rest assured he's now in God's hands."

Pham was found dead in his bunk last Thursday at the end of his 24-hour shift at Dallas Fire Station #49.  

Pham received full honors including an honor guard, a fire truck salute and a fire engine escort to Restland Memorial Cemetery, where Pham will be laid to rest.

Email: cvega@wfaa.com

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