12/30/2011 - On the cold morning of Friday, December 30, 2011 the Peabody Fire Department had to lay to rest one of their own. Peabody Firefighter James Rice, 42, was killed while operating at a three alarm fire at 5 Hancock Street on December 23rd, just two days before Christmas. Firefighter Rice left behind a wife, three young children, as well as many family members and friends. The funeral was held at the St. John the Baptist Church in Peabody at 16 Church Street. The funeral procession traveled through the downtown area, and was led by several fire honor guards, several fire department pipes and drums bands, as well as the Peabody Fire Department. Firefighter Rice's casket was carried by Engine-5. Two ladder companies, Peabody Ladder-1 and Danvers Engine-1, proudly raised the American flag over the procession route on Lowell Street. The street was lined with firefighters from across the country, EMS personnel, police officers, and towns people who came out to show their respect for the fallen hero. This line of duty death comes just a couple weeks after Worcester Firefighter Jon Davies was killed during a third alarm house fire, when the building he was searching for a missing resident in collapsed. This is the fourth work related death for Massachusetts firefighters this month according to the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts (PFFM). The two other firefighters who passed away were Methuen firefighter Robert George, and Medford firefighter Randy Rideout. Burial was held at the Cedar Grove Cemetery following the funeral mass. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the James Rice Educational Memorial Fund, c/o Peabody Municipal Credit Union, 12 Chestnut St., Peabody, MA 01960.