PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) - A Johnson County firefighter who died in a car crash was laid to rest Sunday.
Jason Blair, 24, died Thursday in a crash on the Mountain Parkway in Magoffin County. Blair was a volunteer firefighter with the W.R. Castle Fire Department for more than seven years.
Folks gathered at the Johnson County Middle School gymnasium to pay their final respects.
"Anytime you're part of a fire department, you kind of have two families," said Blair's friend and fellow firefighter Jason Arms. "You've got your blood family and then your firefighter family. And anytime we lose one it's like losing a family member. It's very hard."
Nearly 30 fire trucks and EMS vehicles from different counties lined up along the highway in Paintsville as a tribute to Blair. His body was transported to the cemetery atop W.R. Castle fire engine number one.
“You could always depend on him to be there, no matter what time," W.R. Castle Fire Chief Paul Burchett said. "It says a lot for his family that he gave a lot of time, personal sacrifice and time."
Dispatchers gave Blair a last call over the scanner before he was buried: "Rest easy brother, we'll take it from here. Dispatch clear."
Firefighters plan to retire Blair's number 321.
Blair leaves behind his wife, Jessica, and unborn daughter, Teagan. Jason and Jessica were married in April.
Jason Blair, 24, of Nippa, Ky died following a single vehicle crash on Mountain Parkway in Magoffin County about 6 a.m. Thursday.
Less than 15 hours later, family and friends gather in the parking lot of the W.R. Castle Memorial Elementary School to honor Blair’s life.
“He’s one of our children. That's what we everybody here is our kids and we've known him since he was a boy,” said firefighter Michael Hamilton.
Hamilton says Blair got married in April. He and his wife were expecting their first child. Now, members of this community say they have a job to do.
“We've got a baby to take care of. Every child that comes into this, it's a family. They're our kids. We will do everything we can to help raise that child and let it know how strong it's father was. How good of a fireman he was.”
A firefighter who many say was always helping others.
“If it was three in the morning he was one of the first people coming to get a truck to go help someone, if it was a fire or car wreck and he loved doing it,” said Hamilton.
Jason Blair, firefighter number 321, is not going anywhere.
Hamilton concluded, “It will always be there. It will be a number we respect. A number we look after. We know he'll always be watching us. When we're out there we'll always know 321 will be watching. He'll make sure we don't get hurt.”
Funeral arrangements are still pending.
Kentucky State Police say Jason Blair, of Nippa, Ky. was killed when his vehicle went off the highway and overturned.
Blair died at the scene.
No other information is being released at this time.