Irmo Fire District grieving loss of fallen firefighter

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Published: May. 27, 2023 at 8:50 PM EDT
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IRMO, S.C. (WIS) - Firefighters at the Irmo Fire District, hearts are heavy right now as they grieve the loss of firefighter James Muller.

Garrett Lewis who works for Passion For The Craft, a company that teaches firefighting says, “I would describe James as a beacon of life to everyone he was around. His passion for the job really impacted everyone.”

Firefighter Muller was killed in the line of duty, fighting a fire at the Tropical Ridge Apartments in Columbia on Friday.

Cody Stone who also works for Passion For The Craft says, “Just the love and passion he had for the job, for helping others, but most of all teaching. People I spoke to and one of his best friends and Captain Dom. He talked about little kids and how they were coming to the firehouse. They would go straight to the fire apparatus. He would talk about things on the truck. He would explain it to them like they’ve been on the job for 20 years. Just his love and his moral compass and integrity was like no other like you’ve never seen a man.”

Officials say Muller was trapped after a structural collapse and was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Tyler Mathai, Passion For The Craft says “Yes, as a fire service we live together. It’s like a big family. Basically, we are family, we all come together. We have each other’s backs, especially during times like these.”

Stone adds, “You see the men and women, and they come together they create that brotherhood. I think right now it’s almost surreal, but the hardest part is not now. It will be in the upcoming weeks and months, even years as they mourn the loss of such an amazing man. It’s tough. No one will ever fill his shoes.”

Mental health counselors are in place to assist firefighters and the family.

All Irmo personnel will be off duty for the weekend and firefighters around the state will filling be in for them as they grieve the loss of Muller.

Officials are in the process of making funeral arrangements for firefighter James Muller.

The district began in 1963 and it’s their first time grieving a line-of-duty death.

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