New South Wales: In a heartbreaking moment, the toddler son of a volunteer firefighter who was killed in Australia’s bushfire, received a bravery medal on behalf of his father on Thursday during funeral services.
19-month-old Harvey Keaton, was seen wearing a firefighter’s outfit and a pacifier in his mouth, when he received the medal from New South Wales (NSW) Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.
As per reports, his 32-year-old father Geoffrey Keaton and his colleague Andrew O’Dwyer died in December, battling the deadly blaze when their fire truck hit a fallen tree.
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service took to Facebook to post pictures of the service and wrote: ”Today the NSW RFS family farewelled one of their own, with the funeral of Geoffrey Keaton held in western Sydney earlier today. Geoff was one of two firefighters who tragically lost their life while fighting fires in south west Sydney on 19 December 2019.”
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison also attended the funeral and said he was there to “remember and give thanks for the life and service of Geoff Keaton”.
People on social media couldn’t hold back their tears as they came across the emotional pictures and paid tributes to the firefighters.
Fierce fires have flared around Australia for several weeks, prompting mass evacuations, devastating towns and destroying homes. A total of 24 people have been killed and almost 2,000 homes destroyed as the bushfires have ravaged three Australian states, burning about five million hectares (12.35 million acres) of land.