Kennewick Fire Department in Mourning - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick Fire Department in Mourning

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KENNEWICK, Wa.,--During a press conference yesterday, Kennewick Fire Chief Neil Hines confirmed that 38-year-old Firefighter Eric Lyons died thursday morning from what's described as a "fatal medical condition." Fire Marshal Mark Yaden says everyone is remembering a man with a great sense of humor.

"We're kinda going through that grieving process where everybody's kinda taken a little step back and reflecting on their own personal relationship with, that they had with Eric," says Yaden.

Firefighters are a unique fraternity. Like law enforcement, they put themselves into harms way. The nature of their job can sometimes result in tragedy. And when it does, it's hard to accept.

"This hits very close to home when its one of their own ya know, their warriors that go out-there day in and day out and protect the community," says Yaden.

According to Chief Hines, Lyons had just returned from a call involving a brush fire. He was in the bunk area at Station 1 when a seizure like event occurred. An instance like this, according to Yaden, usually strengthens the unique bond firefighters already share.

"In my 30-year-career, I've just seen many cases where they will really step up in hard times," according to Yaden. This is probably about as hard as it gets to lose a fellow firefighter.

Lyons will likely receive a department funeral--as is tradition, but the decision ultimately lies with his family.