Funeral plans confirmed for fallen SC firefighter
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS/WCSC) - The Irmo Fire District confirmed funeral plans for a firefighter who died Friday in the line of duty.
James Michael Muller, 25, will be laid to rest at a service on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Riverland Hills Baptist Church in Irmo. The public is welcome to attend.
Muller died while battling an apartment fire that injured six other firefighters, WIS-TV reported. Authorities said Muller died after he became trapped inside the apartment which collapsed during the fire.
It is the first time the Irmo Fire Department has had to deal with the loss of one of its firefighters in the line of duty, a loss Irmo Fire Chief Mike Sonefeld called devastating.
“James Muller was passionate beyond any firefighter that I ever met or encountered,” Sonefeld said. “He was the epitome of what a firefighter should be, should look like, just wrapped in the one human being. Just amazing.”
Sonefeld said the loss is an emotional roller coaster.
“You see it in waves hour after hour. Sometimes we are crying, sometimes we’re laughing. The hole is already being filled because of who he was. You say the name, James Michael Mueller and you have to smile,” Sonefeld said. “If you’re not smiling, it’s because you didn’t know him. So that is how we are going to heal. You already got me smiling because you bring up his name and it just brings a smile. Awesome memories.”
Muller was a driver and operator who graduated from the South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association’s Fire Officer Academy in March.
The mayor of Irmo has order flags at half-staff for several days in honor of Mueller.
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