"We're gonna miss him ... we lost a big help we lost a big part of the community," said Lee Volunteer Firefighter Chief Reese Thomas.
49 year old Captain James "Jim" Lee Von Roden died Saturday. He was a firefighter for Lee Volunteer Fire Department in Madison County.
James' been with the department for 13 plus years.
"He went to respond he became ill in route getting ready to go to the station," said Thomas.
Von Roden's friends said he had a heart attack just a few miles away from his home.
"If there was a rock in my life besides Jesus Christ ... it would be James Lee Von Roden," said LeRoy Rutherford.
Dozens of firefighters from surrounding counties came to pay their respects some drove more than four hours to say a final goodbye to their fallen comrade.
"As a paid firefighter I'm very grateful and humble by the service that the volunteer firefighters give the community," said Clearwater firefighter Doug Swartz.
Von Roden is survived by his wife, two daughters, grand children and a community whose flames burn for their hero.
Von Roden was, also, the owner and operator of Von's Auto in Madison. Family and friends describe him as a community servant who will truly be missed.