WEST (CBSDFW.COM) – In West, the first of ten firefighters killed in the fertilizer plant explosion last week has been laid to rest.
As flags fluttered in the brisk spring wind and the wail of bagpipes filled the air, the farewell for Captain Kenneth “Luckey” Harris was everything one would expect for a man who lived his life with honor—and lost it as heroes often do: helping others.
“Captain Harris taught us that this is not just a job, it’s a commitment,” said Chief Louie Bright, III, Dallas Fire Rescue. “Every time the call for service went out, he was there.”
Harris, 52, lived in West. But he spent the past three decades as a Dallas firefighter.
The department’s retired chaplain told mourners gathered for his funeral today at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of the Assumption, that Harris was a man of courage, confidence, and one who cared deeply for those around him.
“To go off duty and see something burning, then get up to make sure those guys had everything they needed… that’s why he went over there that day,” said Retired Chaplain Denny Burris.
Two other private citizens who rushed to help put out the fire that was burning prior to the blast were also killed, along with three other residents.
“Grief and tragedy are unavoidable in this life,” Rev. John Rambeau of Waco’s Highpoint Church, told the mourners, “but, it doesn’t have the final word.”
There were many words of comfort for the fallen firefighter’s grieving family—and yes, even a few moments of laughter in the midst of the tears.
Chuckles rose from the pews when Rev. Rambeau shared a story about Harris’ fondness for offshore fishing—and how a necessary piece of equipment was an insulated drink holder that he wore around his neck to make it easier to reach his Keystone Light.
As his flag draped coffin was placed on board a fire truck for the burial procession, hundreds of fellow firefighters stood in solemn salute. Nearby streets were also lined with community members who also came to support the family.
Harris is survived by his wife of 28 years, Holly, and three grown sons.
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