Meridian Fire Dept. mourning the loss of a brother

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - It's a gray and solemn day at the Meridian Fire Department as they mourn the loss of one of their own.

Source: Meridian Fire Dept.

Jodie Kennedy, 37, died suddenly of a massive heart attack early Monday morning, according to the coroner. He leaves behind a wife and three young children, as well as his family at the fire department. He first signed on as a firefighter in 2010 and left three years later. Kennedy returned to the department in April of 2016 and has been serving since.

"I said, 'Where you been Jodie? Where you been? Come on back,'" Chief Anthony Clayton recalls. "And he did. He's just been nothing but life. He always was a smiling face. He will be missed. He's our brother."

Kennedy died a little after 3 a.m. Monday. He was just a couple of hours from coming into work for the day. It's been tough for such a close-knit department that's already suffered loss.

"We're just recovering from over a year ago previously from losing one of our firefighters already," acting battalion chief Bryan McAlister says. "It's just something you don't really know how to describe it, I guess."

"Understanding and realizing what an impact this would be on our department because he's part family," Deputy Chief Ricky Leister says. "This is our family."

No funeral arrangements have been set at this time.