A touching tribute from New York: CFD Capt. Herbie Johnson honor - FOX 35 News Orlando

A touching tribute from New York: CFD Capt. Herbie Johnson honored

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CRETE, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -

Hundreds of friends and family, from as far as New York City, honored fallen Chicago Fire Department Captain Herbie Johnson on Friday. He died after saving families from a huge fire last November.

Some of his friends from the New York Fire Department will present his family with a very special gift on Friday – a piece of ground zero, where the World Trade Center towers fell on Sept. 11, 2001.

Johnson traveled to New York to help rescue survivors from the rubble after the terror attack, and remained friends with the New York firefighters long after he came back to Chicago.

Herbie Johnson was a larger than life figure with a teddy bear personality.

The CFD captain died after saving several families including many with small children from a burning South Side home. He died from inhaling too much smoke.

Family and friends devastated by his death have a started a foundation in his name.

In the spirit of being a giver - not a taker - The Herbie Johnson Foundation's mission is to help firefighting families in their time of need, whatever that may be.

Johnson left behind a wife, three children, a huge extended family of police officers and firefighters and countless number of friends as well.

In the words of his brother-in-law in the days after his death, "Herbie never wanted glory or notoriety."

"Instead, all he wanted was to make Chicago a safer place for other members of the city," Dan McMahon said. "So please, in Herbie's honor go home and hug your kids."

Among his other accolades, Johnson received the highest medal that can be given to a firefighter in Illinois.

Through his job, Johnson supported a camp that helped burn victims, cooked for charity and drove fire engines in parades for the department

Herbie was honored as a fallen first responder at the South Side Irish Parade in March, as his legacy continues on in the wake of his death.

Captain Herbie Johnson has gone - sadly, tragically, but never to be forgotten.

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