WORCESTER, Mass. – Thousands of firefighters from across Massachusetts and the country lined the streets around a Worcester church Thursday to honor a firefighter killed last week searching a burning building for a person believed to be inside who was later found safe.

Jon Davies, 43, died Dec. 8 after he and his partner, Brian Carroll, were trapped when the building collapsed.

At the funeral Mass, Carroll carried Davies’ helmet into our Lady of Mount Carmel-St. Ann Church and gave an emotional eulogy, calling his partner a man with a big heart whom he trusted more than anyone. Davies’ brother and sister also spoke.

The Rev. Walter Riley said Davies’ sacrifice “changes our community.”

State leaders attending included U.S. Sens. John Kerry and Scott Brown, Gov. Deval Patrick and Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, a former Worcester mayor.

Davies’ casket was draped in purple with the Worcester Fire Department insignia on top of the fire Engine 12 as it was taken to the church for the funeral mass and, later, to St. John’s Cemetery for interment.

Worcester fire stations were staffed by out-of-town crews to allow local firefighters bid a personal farewell to their colleague.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that Michael Langford, an acting fire captain from Toronto, traveled to Worcester with a few of his colleagues to attend Davies’ funeral, saying it was important to show support for a fallen brother.

“The appreciation value might be down a little bit, but when something like this happens the community does appreciate what we do,” Langford told the newspaper as he stood on Shrewsbury Street near the church.

Davies’ death came days after the anniversary of the Worcester Cold Storage building fire that killed six firefighters on Dec. 3, 1999.