CHICAGO - It was the fourth firefighter funeral in Chicago this year and could very well have been the largest.
On Monday, thousands of firefighters from Chicago and other communities filled the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier to remember Andrew Price for his courage, his selflessness, and his sense of humor.
"Who was Drew? We knew him as a genuine, funny, big-hearted, thoughtful, hardworking, gentle, and caring person," said Pat Gallagher, Captain, Chicago Fire Department.
Before the funeral, thousands of firefighters formed a human semicircle, slowly processing past Price's remains, saluting with a white-gloved hand as they passed by.
The 39-year-old firefighter died last week while responding to a fire in a four-story building in Lincoln Park, falling through a skylight as he ventilated the roof.
Fire Captain John Haring spoke about seeing Price on the roof moments before the accident.
"Looked at the sunrise coming up with the skyline behind him. He told firefighter Mora, ‘Majala, bro, let's get to work,’" Haring said.
After the funeral, firefighters carried Price's remains to Truck 44 -- the company he'd worked with for most of his 14-year career. Price's uniform, hat, and boots were at the front of the truck.
After a flyover by the Chicago Fire Department helicopter, the remains were processed away from Navy Pier to a private burial.