A 32-year-old firefighter with Neosho Fire Department in Missouri.

Timmy Shane Hardy, a father of six, was killed while riding a conveyor belt in an attempt to get better look at a grain bin fire at Ragland Mills Inc., a livestock feed company.

Hardy was one of those firefighters who knew what needed to be done, and did it, said Fire Chief Greg Hickman. "He was always making sure the equipment was ready. You didn't even have to ask."

Hardy died after becoming entangled in the conveyor belt that he was riding to examine a fire in an adjoining bin. The chief said firefighters first speculated something was terribly wrong when they couldn't reach Hardy on his radio and simultaneously discovered that the belt was inoperable.

Employees at the company were the first to reach him, and confirm that he had become entangled, and was dead. Other firefighters climbed outside ladders as well to get to their colleague.

Chief Hickman said "it's been pretty rough today," he said. "Tim was well-liked, a good fireman who always did his best...He was always taking classes to be better."

Hardy's tragic death left the town stunned, said Vickie Dexter, human resources director. "Everyone knows everyone here."

"His life was dedicated to the fire department. That's all he ever wanted to be, a fireman," Ms. Dexter said. "He was always willing to help, to pitch in and do what need to be done."

He started off volunteering in 1994, and was hired on as a career firefighter in 1999..

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