Hundreds gather to lay beloved Roanoke firefighter to rest

ROANOKE, Va. – "For the Lord to take her at age 26, it just breaks my heart," said David Hoback, chief of Roanoke Fire EMS.

A life taken and hundreds of people left behind with broken hearts. 26-year-old Kali Hurd, a career firefighter with Roanoke Fire EMS and a volunteer with the Mount Pleasant Fire Department, fought a long hard battle against colon cancer.

From the flag flying out front to the procession, Kali was given a first responder's farewell. The fire chief says it was only fitting, because Kali loved her job. She lived to save lives. 

"This was her life, this was her passion. This is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life," said Hoback. 

Along with her first responder family, Kali leaves behind a mother and father and siblings who have suffered a loss many can't imagine. But on Monday, as Kali took her last ride, sadness was met with celebration of a life lived to the fullest. 

"The smile on her face...every time she came to work, every time she walked in the fire station, every time she did things with her family, you never saw that young lady not smiling," said Hoback. 

Even during her chemo treatments ... Chief Hoback says Kali never missed a day of work at the fire station.