Firefighter James Henry Haigler of the Sanford, N.C. Fire Department died of a heart attack Jan. 19.

"He was a big, tall, burly guy, the loud one in the room. He made you laugh and smile," said Chief Wayne Barber.

Haigler, known as "Big Jim," got off work at 7 a.m. after a 24-hour shift, in which he participated in a six-hour class and answered one false alarm. He left at about 8:30 a.m. to assist a friend with work around the house, and had heart attack in the yard.

He was 44 years old and had 13 years of fire service. He was the driver/operator of the department