A procession brought 33-year-old firefighter Eric Hosette home Sunday afternoon.
The Clinton community is paying their respects at the station for his bravery and his service. A lot of them are sharing a personal connection to the first responder.
“I just remember coming here to the open house and my dad would go up to them and joke around and he’d ask if I remember him and since I was younger I was like not really but kind of,” said Jessica Lund, who once knew Hosette.
Having family members who put their lives on the line every day, Lund said the news was hard to swallow.
“I broke down and cried not only because I know him but because like I can’t imagine the tragedy that like his family is going through,” Lund said.
Officials say they haven’t had a tragedy like this happen in Clinton since the 90s, which is why it hit Clinton hard.
Even those who did not know Hosette personally showed up to let his family and the station know they are not alone, like 9-year-old Zacob Benson.
“To support the fire men … because it makes people happy,” said Benson.
This loss also struck a cord with neighboring police and fire departments from both sides of the river.
Captain Richmond from Prophetstown Illinois fire department says he knows the feeling of losing a teammate. He has advice for the first responders.
“Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Everybody is there for you. It’s rough, but everybody makes it together,” said Richmond.
A memorial service for Lt. Hosette is still in the works, but Clinton Fire Chief Mike Brown says they’re aiming to have one towards the end of the week.