BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern County Fire Capt. Brian Falk has died at the age of 47 while on duty, according to the department.

Falk was a 20-year veteran of the department. He leaves behind a wife and two sons.

“Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences are with his family, friends, and colleagues,” read a message on the department’s Twitter account.

Falk worked at Fire Station 23 in Fellows, said Chief Aaron Duncan, a longtime friend. They graduated from the same academy.

“Captain Falk was a great man, great firefighter,” Duncan told 17 News’ Robert Price. “A professional. He had a big heart, made people smile every time they were around him. Just a great sense of humor.”

Information is being gathered about cause of death. The most important task right now, Duncan said, is to help the department and Falk’s family navigate this tragedy.

Many other fire departments and public safety agencies have reached out, the chief said. He was honored by the procession given for Falk, which escorted his body from the fire station to the coroner’s office.

“It’s humbling to see what this fire family can do . . . ,” Duncan said.