Over $7,000 raised in GoFundMe account for family of fallen Sterling firefighter

Local News

Garrett Ramos with his wife Brittney, and daughters Ruthie and Kepa.

Rhianna Mengel is best friends with Brittney Ramos, the wife of Sterling firefighter Garrett Ramos, who lost his life after battling a Friday night fire in rural Rock Falls.

In just one day, the GoFundMe account Mengel established for the Ramos family already raised $7.020 as of Thursday afternoon.

“Garrett was an incredible husband and father who brought my friend endless joy and gave her the two most precious gifts possible, their beautiful daughters, Ruthie and Kepa,” Mengel wrote on the GoFundMe she created for Ramos’ wife, Brittney. “I am hoping, during this holiday season, that friends, family, acquaintances, and anyone touched by this devastating news may come together to support this young family, whether it’s to donate $1, share this to your friends, or even a prayer of healing.”

Lt. Garrett E. Ramos, 38, was killed in the line of duty in the early-morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. He was responding to a fire at 11:04 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at 10031 Ridge Road, rural Rock Falls. While Lt. Ramos was inside fighting the house fire, the door collapsed beneath him, necessitating a rescue operation.

His funeral and memorial service were held Thursday in Sterling.

“The first time Brittney told me about Garrett, I knew he was the one,” Mengel wrote. “I had never heard her happier and throughout the years, that happiness never faded.”

Fire Lt. Garrett Ramos, 38, died while responding to a house fire that happened just after 11 p.m. Friday in rural Rock Falls after serving the Sterling Fire Department since October 2012. (Photo courtesy of the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Office)

The online fundraiser was approved by Brittney and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to Brittney and their children. The City of Sterling and IAFF Local 2301 have also created a Garrett Ramos Memorial Fund through Sauk Valley Bank, with 100% of proceeds going to the family. You can donate (via bank account only at this time) to that here — Garrett Ramos Memorial Fund.

To view the GoFundMe, visit https://gf.me/v/c/dkx5/support-the-family-of-captain-garrett-e-ramos.

Mengel described Ramos on the site — “His happy and positive demeanor was evident from a young age. His magnetic personality won the hearts of everyone in his life. He loved to spend time with his parents, grandparents and friends. He grew up participating in many team sports, especially excelling at basketball and thriving in the team environment. Family, faith and sports laid the foundation for the man of character he would become.”

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