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Franklin Firefighter’s Remains Returned to Fire Station During Candlelight Vigil

Two memorial services planned for Franklin Firefighter-Paramedic Dimitris “JD” Fotopoulos on Friday, September 16

Post Date:09/14/2016 4:31 PM

 San Pedro Sula Honduras ceremony

 Back row, center, L to R: Jonathan Fotopoulos, Franklin Fire Chief Rocky Garzarek and Franklin Fire Deputy Chief Glenn Johnson surrounded by members of the San Pedro Sula, Honduras fire department, who held a memorial service for Dimitris “JD” Fotopoulos on Tuesday.


Franklin, TN – The remains of Franklin Firefighter-Paramedic Dimitris "JD" Fotopoulos returned to Franklin Fire Station 8 last night, arriving aboard Ladder 8 just after 11:30 p.m.  They were greeted by a candlelight vigil comprised of around 100 Westhaven residents, who lined the roadway in front of the station to show their respect.

Fotopoulos, who was 40, died in a motorbike crash over Labor Day weekend while in Honduras on a mission trip with his church group.   Franklin Fire Chief Rocky Garzarek and Deputy Chief Glenn Johnson travelled to Honduras on Monday, along with Fotopoulos’ brother, Jonathan, to retrieve his remains.  Before returning to the U.S. on Tuesday afternoon they attended a memorial ceremony for Fotopoulos held by the San Pedro Sula, Honduras fire department.

Franklin Fire Ladder 8, the apparatus to which Fotopoulos was assigned, was waiting at the airport, along with other Franklin Fire and Police escorts, to carry them home.

Firefighters and emergency personnel from numerous Middle Tennessee departments lined every I-65 overpass along the route to pay tribute to Fotopoulos as he passed, as did firefighters at Franklin Fire Stations 1 and 2, which were also on the route.  To watch a short video of their return to Station 8 follow this link:

Fotopoulos served the Franklin Fire Department for nine years beginning in 2007, primarily at Station 2 on Murfreesboro Road.  In August he transferred to Station 8 in Westhaven as part of the first crew to staff that new station.  

A Michigan native, Fotopoulos had previous firefighting experience with the Pontiac Fire Department in Pontiac, MI.  He never married and did not have any children.

Two memorial services for Fotopoulos, both open to the public, will take place on Friday, September 16:

  • 2 p.m. - The Factory at Franklin, Jamison Hall 230 Franklin Road, Franklin, TN 37064
  • 7 p.m. - Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses,1055 Highway 70 West, Dickson, TN 37055

 A Go Fund Me account has been established to assist the Fotopoulos family with expenses.  To contribute please follow this link:


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