It has been five days since the Black River Falls Fire Department announce the passing of their firefighter Alec Muth.
Fighting fires and racing motorcycles were two of Muth’s favorite activities.
"We’re going to miss his lightheartedness," said Bruce Bresee, an employee at Al Muth Harley-Davidson and family friend. "A really nice young man, very polite, had a very soft way about him."
The 22-year-old Black River Falls Firefighter sustained fatal injuries at a motorcycle race in South Dakota in early August.
"He was the nicest guy," said Wyatt Feaster, an employee at Al Muth Harley-Davidson and close friend of Alec. "He would give you the shirt off his back."
On Tuesday morning, Muth returned to Black River Falls where he will be laid to rest; however, he did not make the trip alone.
"A lot of bikes and a lot of fire trucks," said Feaster.
A post on the Indianhead Harley Owners Group Eau Claire Chapter Facebook page on Monday night made people in the group aware of the plan to bring Muth home. Word spread fast with more than 1,600 shares overnight.
"It definitely speaks to the community: the Harley community, the flat track community, the firefighter community," said Feaster.
The Black River Falls Fire Department escorted Muth from the Minneapolis Airport on I-94 with the help of the Wisconsin State Patrol. Dozens of local fire departments and motorcyclists showed their support, even joining the escort along the way.
"Alec was just an all around good guy, a fellow firefighter," said Capt. Alvin Lunderville with the Merrillan Fire Department. "I worked with him a few times, and he was a just a nice guy."
"He would be pretty overwhelmed by this," said Bresee. "I think he would be really proud. I really do."
The community is remembering a life lost too soon, as his fellow firefighters make the promise: "We have the watch from here."
Memorial service information for Muth can be found on the Prayers for Alec Facebook page.