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Hundreds of mourners say goodbye to fallen SD firefighter

BRANDON (AP) — Hundreds of mourners have turned out to honor a South Dakota firefighter killed in the line of duty.

A funeral for Steven Ackerman was held Sunday in Brandon. Ackerman died April 12 while fighting a house fire that also killed homeowner David Smith.

Ackerman was a 14-year volunteer with nearby Valley Springs Fire and Rescue. The Argus Leader reports a bagpipe band made up of firefighters from across South Dakota ushered Ackerman's casket to the front of the gym at Brandon Valley High School.

The Rev. Norm Bouwens told mourners to hold Ackerman up "as an example of how we should live our lives, with valor ... and love."

Childhood friend Mike Harstad of Valley Springs says Ackerman saw himself as a regular person just doing his community a service.