The Worcester community is mourning the loss of a firefighter who died Sunday morning battling a house fire.
"This is a big loss to our area right now," Worcester resident Janice Kalmowitz said.
A memorial grew throughout the day as the community remembered Christopher Roy, 36, of Shrewsbury. He died fighting a five-alarm blaze at a house on Lowell Street early Sunday.
"I have family in firefighting, so it's close to home," Darlene Olson, a former Worcester resident, said.
Community Mourns Death of Firefighter Killed in Line of Duty
Roy's neighbor Tim Harrold says he was saddened by the news of his death.
"You can't put words to it," he said. "He was such a nice guy."
When he wasn't at work, Harrold says Roy would be doing yard work and spending time with his 9-year-old daughter.
"He was a pretty hard worker. He was a great dad. His daughter was always running around here," Harrold said.
Many people knew Roy as a firefighter, but Harrold knew him as a friendly neighbor who lived on the other side of their Shrewsbury duplex.
"We shared a house together, so you'd see him all the time. He was always one to wave or always one to at least say, 'Hello,' or try to have a conversation with you," he said.
Worcester Community Reacts to Firefighter's Death
Throughout the day, people dropped off flowers at the Webster Square fire station where Roy worked as part of Ladder Four. Flags flew at half-staff and black buntings hung outside.
"It's tough with the holidays," Tom Gerolomo, a Worcester resident, said.
One little girl left a drawing showing firefighters fighting flames.
Kalmowitz never met Roy, but still feels a connection to the tragedy.
"This station is my neighborhood, and these firefighters have helped my family out quite a bit," she said.
She left flowers at the station, and couldn't hold back her tears thinking about Roy's family, especially his 9-year-old daughter.
"That's even more emotional, too, especially at this time of year," she said. "There's no words, there's just no words."
The Greg Hill Foundation will host a fundraiser for the Roy family tomorrow. The organization says it will match donations up to $10,000.