LEAF RIVER – A memorial has been set up to help a firefighting family whose son died in a fire and two others who were seriously injured in the blaze that consumed their home shortly before 1 a.m. Friday.
About 300 people attended a candlelight vigil Sunday at Leaf River Fire Station to honor 19-year-old Greg Wood, a first-year firefighter who died in the fire at 209 W. Second St., just a block from the station.
His father, Marcus Wood, 43, deputy chief of the volunteer fire department, is in fair condition at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center and his brother Travis, 16, a cadet firefighter, is in good condition at Mercyhealth Hospital, both in Rockford.
His mother Nicole, an EMT for the department, was treated at Mercyhealth and released.
The family’s dog also died in the blaze.
It’s the first time a Leaf River firefighter has died in a fire, Chief Steve Shelton said.
A procession of vehicles from area departments escorted the Ogle County Coroner’s vehicle as it took Wood’s body to the morgue, and a moment of silence was observed at Saturday’s Forreston High School football game.
Greg graduated from Forreston High in May, where he was a member of the Leaf River Fire Department Volunteer Cadet Program, the same program Travis joined. He had just completed EMT classes, and he and his father also volunteered for the German Valley Fire Department.
The cause of the fire in the two-story wood-frame home has not yet been determined, but is not considered suspicious. State police, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department are investigating.
The Leaf River Fire Department has set up a fund for the family at German American State Bank. Checks can be sent to the bank at P.O. Box 89, German Valley, IL 61039, or dropped off at any branch, with “Woods family” in the memo field.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.