LODD Close to Home: Oakwood Volunteer Fire Chief Found Dead at Fire

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RAVEN, Va. (AP) — The burned remains of a volunteer fire department chief were found in the woods after he went to battle a brush fire alone.

A search party found the body of Max Willard, 68, chief of the Oakwood Volunteer Fire Department, on Sunday morning.

Willard went into the woods with a fire rake about an hour after the blaze started Saturday and never came out, said Randall Ashby, Buchanan County Sheriff’s chief deputy.

Ashby said it was not immediately clear whether the fire, smoke inhalation or something else caused Willard’s death.

“His body had been burned by the fire,” Ashby said. (here)

Ok I have searched for information online for the Oakwood Volunteer Fire Department and I have not been able to find anything. Just as well, Firehouse.com is not responding, must be working on the website.

I do not know the area exactly where this happened, although it is in Southwest Virginia. I have not been there I do not think.

You can see info (here) from the United States Fire Administration (USFA) website.

Fire Chief magazine online has an article on how to handle LODD’s. (here)

I have already been asked if we are going to do anything for the memorial service and/or funeral. We could send down an Honor Guard. However I do not know of the plans for the services. If anyone can help, please let me know. I certainly hope there will be something in the paper tomorrow.

Thanks to Blog from on High for the heads up on this. I was waiting to get an email update from Firehouse.com so I could post some more information. I still have not received an email from them.

May God open his arms wide for another one of our Fallen Brothers. Unfortunately the United States Fire Service is on a tragic pace of our Brothers and Sisters dying in the Line of Duty.


Firehouse.com does not offer any more information on the incident. I hope to have some more information for you soon.

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