STURGIS, S.D. (KEVN) - It's been an emotional week for local firefighters and first responders as they mourn the loss of an assistant fire chief.
Until David Fischer is laid to rest on Saturday, firefighters are standing watch for their fallen comrade around the clock.
It's a tradition firefighters hope they never have to honor.
But when called upon, it's something they'd never turn down.
Local firefighters are standing guard for 43 year old David Fischer this week before he's laid to rest this Saturday.
Fischer was killed Friday evening fighting a house fire in Tilford.
Josh Lange says, "This is exactly what our purpose is for, is to just bring honor and to go through the process with the family."
It's not just firefighters who are standing by Fischer.
The National Guard, law enforcement officers, and the U.S. Forest Service are also paying their respects at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis.
Steven Monteforte says, "When a firefighter volunteers himself, or when someone volunteers themselves and they die in the line of duty, that is the ultimate sacrifice. Whether it's fire, police, EMS, military, they are giving themselves up. They gave their lives up to protect others so it is the absolute least that we can do to honor those that have fallen."
His death caused a major hit not only to his family, but to the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department and firefighters across the state.
Steven Monteforte says, "I think it's absolutely spectacular what the community has done for showing their support, not only for the firefighters, but for David, his family, everybody else."
Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, September 15th at 1 P.M. at the west gymnasium of Sturgis Brown High School.
On that Saturday, Governor Dennis Daugaard also asks that all flags in the state be flown at half-staff from 8 A.M. to sunset in Fischer's honor.
If you'd like to financially support Fischer's family, you can donate to the David Fischer Family Memorial fund at Black Hills Federal Credit Union.
You can also send photos or condolences to email@example.com.