A Dallas firefighter killed Sunday was laid to rest Friday in his hometown of Greenville -- about an hour east of Dallas. He died from his injuries after fighting an apartment fire in Oak Cliff.
About 2,000 people attended the funeral of Lt. Todd Krodle, including firefighters from as far as San Antonio and Oklahoma.
Krodle devoted his career to fighting fires, and for most of the time, out of Station 26 in Dallas. He lost his life trying to protect others. His body was returned to his home church in Greenville, where his pastor says Krodle faithfully attended Sunday service.
"If you were to draw a picture of the perfect firefighter, you would draw Lt. Todd Krodle," said Jason Evans, spokesperson for Dallas Fire & Rescue. "When you take this job, you understand that you're putting your life on the line. With that being said, the expectation is that one day something like this could happen. Unfortunately, it does."
There wasn't enough room inside Highland Terrace Baptist Church for the thousands who wanted to pay their respects. So, many listened to the loud speakers under an outdoor tent. Above it all flew an American flag hoisted up by two fire trucks to honor a 41-year-old father and husband whose last moments were spent fighting an apartment fire and falling through the roof.
"He is the epitome of what a firefighter should be. He is a leader at that station and the entire department. He is an example for all the young firefighters that are coming up and are looking for someone to aspire to be," said Evans. "Live your life to the fullest, as Todd did. And whenever you apply yourself to something, do it with 100-percent commitment and dedication. And never take life for granted. "
Fellow firefighters served as pallbearers, taking Krodle to his final resting place at Memoryland Memorial Park.
Krodle leaves behind his wife and their two pre-teen children.
The Dallas Fire Fighters Association is hosting a dinner Friday evening to honor him.