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Candlelight vigil honors fallen firefighter

By Dana Clemens, Reporter, dana.clemens@kmiz.com
Published On: Feb 22 2014 09:40:55 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 23 2014 01:21:22 AM CST

Columbia fire Lt. Bruce Britt was killed when a walkway collapse under him as he evacuated students from a University of Missouri apartment complex. The community reacts, as residents wonder about their safety Saturday night.

COLUMBIA, Mo. -

As the community continues to grieve over the death of Columbia firefighter Lt. Bruce Britt in a walkway collapse Saturday morning, Mizzou students and residents in the University Village Apartments came together Saturday night to honor his memory with a candlelight vigil.

Lt. Britt died while trying to evacuate students from the structurally unsafe building.

Even though many people didn't know Lt. Britt personally, they were deeply affected by his bravery and actions Saturday morning.

"I'm paying my respects to a man I didn't know but he gave his life so others could be safe," University Village resident Paul Bourdeaux said.

"This is the least we can do his memory," University Village manager Ibrahem Jasim said.

Jasim invited Britt's family and fellow coworkers to join in so he could express just how sorry he was for their loss.

"When we heard the news, we were shocked.  He was so brave," Jasim said.

Others at the vigil wished Britt was still here so they could thank him for saving others instead of himself.

"I would say thank you.  Men like him don't come around very often," Bourdeaux said.

Those who weren't able to attend shared their memories and condolences via social media.

Many of his friends remembered what a good father and coworker Lt. Britt was.

Others talked about his hugs, his humor, and his love of wearing cowboy hats on his days off.

Flags around the city of Columbia will be flown at half staff for the next 30 days to honor Lt. Britt.

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