WORCESTER (CBS) — “He lived for his daughter, Ava. He brought so much joy to all of us,” said Michelle, Christopher Roy’s mother. Firefighter Roy died Sunday while trying to put out a fire on Lowell Street in Worcester.

Roy’s only daughter is nine years old. “She’s incredibly brave and you know where she got that from– her father,” said Michelle. “We will always be there for Ava. He raised her to be strong. It was just him and her.”

“He referred to her as his little munchkin and made sure she had the best of everything.”

Worcester firefighter Christopher Roy, who died while fighting a house fire on Dec. 9, 2018. (Image Credit: Worcester Fire Department)

The 36-year-old had been on with the Worcester Fire Department for just over two years. Before that, he worked in construction and as a bartender. When Ava was a baby, Roy received a bachelor’s degree in business management from UMass Amherst.

Michelle said Roy was a hard worker and proud to be a firefighter. The profession allowed Roy to work to help others. “He was always ready to help anyone who needed help. Nothing was ever too much for him,” she said.

Roy was well respected by his fellow firefighters and loved by his family. He and his brother, Jason both lived in Shrewsbury. Jason’s one-year-old daughter is Roy’s goddaughter.

“Family was his life. Family was everything to him.”

He was “a smart, loving, level-headed, take control kind of guy,” said Michelle, but also a goofball and a “devoted, devoted father.” He enjoyed hunting, playing sports, and going to the beach.

Roy’s favorite holiday was Christmas.

“We are all broken,” said Michelle.

She added that Roy’s lifelong friends have reached out to support her, along with the Worcester Fire Department, Gov. Charlie Baker, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and the surrounding community.

Black bunting, a makeshift memorial, and candles in the shape of C.R. outside the Webster Square Fire Station on Monday. (WBZ-TV)

“His dad and I, and brother, we’re devastated, but we will have to be strong and we will be for Ava.”

We asked, how can the community help?

“First thing is to pray for Ava. I don’t know what else to say but to pray to give her the strength she is going to need. For them to keep us in their thoughts and in their prayers so we can get through this. That’s all that I ask.”

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