By Karen Madden, Wisconsin Rapids Daily Times:
Although he had just turned 20 on April 26, Riley Daniel Ray Huiras had an impact on his community that “went far beyond his 20 years of life.”
“Once you met him, you didn’t forget him,” Grand Rapids Police Chief Melvin Pedersen said.
Huiras, the son of Kevin and Tami Huiras, was an Eagle Scout, played the violin and the piano, worked for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters baseball team, volunteered as an auxiliary officer with the Grand Rapids Police Department and was a firefighter with the Grand Rapids Volunteer Fire Department.
Huiras began volunteering for the Grand Rapids Volunteer Fire Department a year ago, Grand Rapids Fire Chief Bob Piatt said. Huiras took classes to be a law enforcement officer during the day and was a firefighter at night.
“In June, he took the state certification test and passed his firefighter one, literally a month and a half ago,” Piatt said.
Huiras’ father is a 20-year veteran of the Grand Rapids Volunteer Fire Department and Huiras, like many of the members’ children, grew up helping at the station and at fundraising events.
“Saturday evening, he was fighting that big fire down in Nekoosa,” Piatt said.
The fire started in a garage Saturday evening and spread to two homes and a second garage. Multiple departments, including the Grand Rapids Volunteer Fire Department, responded to the scene to assist the Nekoosa Fire Department.
Huiras was on his way back from the fire when a call came in for a crash in Grand Rapids, Piatt said. Huiras and another young member of the department hopped off one emergency vehicle and directly onto another one to go to the crash scene, Piatt said.
Huiras went home from the second call and, sometime between 2 and 6 a.m. Sunday, suffered a brain aneurysm. The fire department he had been a part of was called to rush him to the hospital, where he died on Wednesday.
Read the full story here.