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Hopkins community mourns firefighter "Jimmy" Scanlon, who died in line of duty

Firefighter James “Jimmy” Scanlon dies in line of duty
Firefighter James “Jimmy” Scanlon dies in line of duty 02:21

HOPKINS, Minn. -- Several communities came together today to mourn a fallen hero. James "Jimmy" Scanlon died in the line of duty on Nov. 4.

Scanlon was a firefighter in Hopkins for 14 years. Before that, he worked with Hopkins and Bloomington Police. His comrades from all those departments came together Wednesday to celebrate his life and service to community, and Main Street was flanked with police squads, fire engines and trucks in honor of a man who served his community well.

Jerry Zielisnki and his wife, Kathy, felt they needed to honor the man who served in both police and fire service. 

"We're really impressed for the city of Minnetonka, Hopkins, Bloomington, the state and everybody to show up and show their respects to the family," Jerry Zielinski said.

Inside the Hopkins Center for the Arts, there were tributes to Scanlon's commitment to family and serving community.

"Jim had a way of making work fun no matter what was happening we always laughed a lot when Jim was around if something needing fixing the answer was to call Jimmy whatever project he was given we knew it would be handled and handled well," Hopkins Sgt. Elizabeth White said.

Scanlon made friends in every department and many fire houses and police stations across the area. His wit, jokes and all around love for serving community will be missed.

"Jimmy will be deeply missed at the fire house. He did so much. We have to pick up the pieces and move the department forward as he would have wished. We're all lucky to have him in our lives and the world is a better place because Jimmy was in it," Assistant Fire Chief Mike Wenshau said.

While bagpipes played "Amazing Grace," many reflected on the community servant's impact on every person and every community he encountered.

"To chief Jim 'Jimmy' Scanlon, who selflessly lived his life for the good of his fellow man, his task completed his duty. Well done to our comrade, his last alarm, at last he's going home," Lt. Anthony Puckett said.

According to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Scanlon's death is classified as a line-of-duty death. He leaves behind his wife, Kat, and four children who range in age from ages 4 to 17. 

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