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Hometown hero welcomed home by hundreds

Joe Yeakley receiving award from Gov. Perry. Joe Yeakley receiving award from Gov. Perry.

An East Texas hero has returned home; Joe Yeakley, a Lindale firefighter who has been at Parkland Hospital in Dallas since January.

Yeakley was injured when a wall fell on him while fighting a fire inside a home in Lindale and received severe burns. Yeakley has fought his way back, and is now able to do rehab from his home.

He rode through Lindale on Engine 1 while hundreds of people lined Highway 69 to welcome him home. He waved and smiled.

“Thank you guys for coming out. I appreciate it. I can't believe all the support that we've received from the community. It's overwhelming. I don't know what to say, but I just thank everyone very much,” Joe said.

Over fifty fire trucks from all over East Texas were in the procession led by a motorcycle club, Brothers Keepers, and Lindale Fire Chief Cory Crowell in a parade of fire vehicles.

“My dad has become this hometown hero, but for me. I've always known that my dad was a hero. He's made a huge difference in a lot of people's lives and I think that's why people are showing up to welcome him home,” said Joe's daughter Nicole Cornish.

Joe was given the Star of Texas by Governor Rick Perry in October. The Star of Texas award honors emergency workers injured or killed in the line of duty.

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