Lindsay Wilcox, NBC 5 News
Dallas Fire-Rescue Capt. Kenneth Harris, the first of ten firefighters killed in the West fertilizer plant explosion, was laid to rest Wednesday.
A Dallas firefighter was laid to rest Wednesday in the first of 10 funerals for the firefighters that were killed in the West fertilizer plant explosion.
Capt. Kenneth Harris, who was known to most in West simply as "Luckey," was remembered as a man who loved God, his family, firefighting and fishing.
In a comment that drew a much-needed laugh from the congregation, his pastor revealed that Harris also liked the occasional Keystone Light.
The service was held at the biggest church in West, and the sanctuary was full, with many of the pews lined with fellow firefighters.
Harris graduated from the Dallas fire academy in 1982 and rose to the rank of captain during his 30 years serving the city.
He was off-duty in West on April 17 when he learned the fertilizer plant was on fire. He wasn't a member of the West fire department, but raced to help anyway.
"During the course of your career, you'll face a situation at some point where a determination will be made whether this job is just a paycheck or is it a passion," Dallas Fire Chief Louie Bright III said. "And on April 17th, Capt. Harris demonstrated passion not only for his profession, but for his community."
Preparations are also underway for Thursday's public memorial in Waco. Because President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are attending, security for the event is even tighter than it would have been.
The service starts at 2 p.m. at the Ferrell Center at Baylor University.
Police say attendees should arrive at noon and park at the Baylor football stadium. From there, buses will shuttle people to the service.
Attendees should also anticipate possible lines at the security checkpoint at the entrance to the Ferrell Center.
Baylor police said 300 fire apparatus and 1,000 firefighters will walking in a procession Thursday that starts at 11 a.m. at the corner of La Salle Avenue and University Parks Drive.