By Miles Furuichi, KOBI:
Ray Carrillo, 57, was a volunteer firefighter with Wolf Creek Rural Fire Protection District when he passed away last Friday after falling ill while battling a local fire. While the correlation between his illness and battling the fire is still under investigation, Monday marked the first week his fellow firefighters will be returning to their job with one less person in their ranks.
But the impact this man made on their lives will be cherished forever. In speaking with Fire Chief Steve Scruggs, words like kind, charismatic and a hard worker were used to describe Carrillo – a man that lived and breathed firefighting.
Erasing the number 365 from the district’s accident calendar, Scruggs gives a deep sigh and says, “It’s not 365 anymore is it.”
According to Scruggs, Carrillo devoted his life to firefighting. From knowing every fire district and who was in command to what types of planes were making runs to put out fires, Carrillo was invested like no other.
“He lived it. He loved it,” said Scruggs. “And he died doing what he wanted to do.”
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