PHOENIX - Friends, family and the community gathered this morning for a short memorial to remember a Phoenix firefighter who died this weekend while working to fight a mulch fire.
Approximately 200 people showed up at Northwest Christian School to remember 23-year-old Brad Harper, a two-year veteran with the fire department, who died after he was pinned between two fire trucks Saturday evening. The fire trucks were repositioning to fight a mulch fire in Phoenix.
Harper attended high school at Northwest Christian. Mourners gathered and said a prayer to honor the fallen firefighter.
Later in the day, fellow Phoenix firefighters and some of Brad's closest friends gathered at the fire administration building to celebrate his life and share memories.
They say it was Brad's dream to be a firefighter. Brad's childhood friend Bobby Priest, also a firefighter, says they shared those dreams together. Bobby said they both failed their first test, but they kept trying to make it on the department.
"We all love him. And I know that he's in a better place. And he's with God right now," Bobby said.
Bob Merillat, a firefighter engineer who worked at the same fire station as Brad, says he left a great legacy behind.
"He's definitely touched my life tremendously," he said. "And made me realize what it takes to be a good person and hard worker."
Brad left behind his wife, Lena. His friends say Lena is resilient, and keep them strong. They're at peace, believing their friend is in a better place.
"Brad was our brother. He was the best guy I knew," said his friend Tim McCord.
Services for fallen Brad Harper are as follows:
Funeral Ceremony on Friday, May 24th at 2:30 p.m. at:
Christ's Church of the Valley (CCV)
7007 W. Happy Valley Road
Peoria, AZ 85383
Procession and Internment to follow at:
Greenwood Memorial Cemetery
719 N. 27th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85009