Funeral service held for N.J. firefighter who died on Christmas morning

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (WPVI) -- A funeral service was held Sunday for a South Jersey firefighter who died on Christmas morning while responding to an emergency call.

The men and women of the Mizpah Volunteer Fire Company that called Natalie Dempsey a part of their family are devastated.

Her fire jacket is latched onto the truck she used to ride in. There's black bunting hanging from the fire company she served.

"It's a tragedy we're still trying to wrap our heads around. She will be very missed. It's not something we should have to deal with," says Chief Jay Davenport.

Chief Jay Davenport and the rest of the department prepared for a funeral procession Sunday morning.

They're laying Dempsey to rest.

The 21-year-old died Christmas morning while responding to a call.

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She lost control of her car on Landis Avenue in Mays Landing as she was heading to a structure fire.

Dempsey's fire family says she was their rising star. Just promoted to Vice President.

Members of the fire company talked about things they will miss most about her.

"Just her smile. Her laughter. Always joking around. Anything you ever ask her to do, no problem, just a go-getter always 100-percent," says Assistant Chief Craig Paxton.

Services for Dempsey are being held at Absegami High School, starting at 1 p.m. and run until 4 p.m.

While they mourn her loss at the department, Chief Davenport says he knows her family's pain is much worse.

He wants them to know the Mizpah Fire Company will always be there for them.

"We're a big family, today we'll prove that. We love them like they are family, and we'll see them there and we'll see them all the way through this," says Davenport.

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