FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) — Frederick County Fire Captain Joshua Laird was laid to rest Tuesday following a funeral service at the PNC Sports Complex at Mount St. Mary’s University.

Thousands of family, friends, colleagues and fellow first responders gathered to pay their respects and final goodbyes to Laird, who died in the line of duty battling a house fire Wednesday.

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“He was a really good person,” said Olivia Jayne Perez, friends with Joshua Laird’s children.

“Josh was one of a kind, he was eccentric, a jokester, a friend and a mentor,” said Stephen Jones, President IAFF Local 3666.

Laird was a loving husband and devoted father of two daughters.

“My dad was unapologetically himself and I admire that about him… and he always put others first,” said Erin Laird, daughter of Joshua Laird. “He loved being in the fire department.”

“He enjoyed so much when people around him were happy so let’s surround each other and be happy,” said Madelyn Laird, daughter of Joshua Laird.

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Wednesday afternoon, the Green Valley Fire Station 25 responded to a two-alarm fire at a home in Ijamsville.

Officials said Laird fell through the first floor of the home into the basement and later died at the hospital.

Governor Larry Hogan spoke at the service Tuesday. Last week, he ordered flags to fly at half staff following his death.

“Those who knew Josh best say his work ethic was unmatched — in an incredibly demanding job, he would always be the voice of reason,” said Governor Hogan.

The 46-year-old served as a firefighter for 21 years and was posthumously promoted to Battalion Chief.

“I want him to be remembered as a hero because he helped a whole bunch of people,” said Perez.

The community and his loved ones will forever remember a trusted leader and mentor with an unmatchable sense of humor as a bell tolled Tuesday and the last alarm rang for fallen firefighter Joshua Laird.

“Love you all or as Battalion Chief Laird would say much love,” said Madelyn Laird.

As Laird’s family tries to heal during this difficult time, a GoFundMe page created for the family has raised over $120,000.

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