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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Hundreds of firefighters from across our area came together Saturday to pay tribute to New Hanover County Fire Rescue Capt. David Heath.

Heath died from an apparent heart attack while participating in a training exercise last week and now his family and fellow firefighters are left to carry on his legacy.

“David was passionate about the fire service and also passionate about training,” Battalion Chief Jennifer Smith said.

Heath was more than just a firefighter; he was a brother to the men and women on the force.

“He was a great individual. He was always enthusiastic and excited about training,” Smith said.

On Saturday, hundreds of firefighters from across the Cape Fear came to pay their respects to the man who always lived life to the fullest.

“David was an important part of our family and we loved him very much. We miss him, but we know he is resting in a better place now,” Deputy Chief Matt Davis said.

Recruiting firefighters was something his family says he lived for.

“His real passion was when he was able to train firefighters. He loved his job and loved his firefighter family,” said Davis.

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