INDIO, Calif. - Firefighters and family members will be paying their respects for Garret Paiz, a firefighter with local ties, who died while fighting the Nuns Fire in Northern California last week. Paiz was a member of Noel Fire Department out of Missouri.
Noel firefighters made the trip to the desert to pay their respects after fundraising for the trip.
Paiz was born and raised in Mecca. He attended Coachella Valley High School and College of the Desert -- before moving to Missouri and becoming a firefighter.
The public funeral service was held at Destiny Church in Indio. Viewing began at 10 a.m. while the service started at 11 a.m.
"Don't live another day of your life for something you are not willing to die for. It's one thing to wake up every morning to do a job. That's called work. Then there's waking up to do something you love, that's called passion. This man did not die doing his job, he died doing something he was passionate about," said Pastor Obed Martinez.
Riverside County Supervisor Manuel Perez and Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz, who both grew up with the Paiz family also were in attendance.
"His dad was a mentor to a lot of us young boys as our baseball coach. There is already a legacy of Piaz families here in the valley and they are very well known and respected," Supervisor Perez said.
"His story will forever be honored and told in our governments records because of his heroism," said Rep. Ruiz.
A live stream was available for anyone unable to attend the funeral service.
Paiz was buried at the Coachella Valley Cemetery.
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