Brian Wolf, a Downey native who rose the ranks of the Downey Fire Department to eventually become a captain and battalion chief, died Sunday afternoon following a two-year battle with melanoma cancer. Raised in Downey, Wolf, 44, was a firefighter his entire adulthood. He recently oversaw the recruitment of Downey's nine newest firefighters, who graduated last month.
"Today is a sad, tragic day for Downey," said Mayor Mario Guerra. "Downey lost one of its own."
Out of privacy for the family, city officials did not offer details on Wolf's passing. A procession of Downey firefighters and police officers was escorting his body Sunday night to a Bellflower mortuary.
Firefighters from Vernon, Montebello, Santa Fe Springs and Compton were handling fire and medical emergency calls in Downey Sunday night.
Wolf was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma cancer in 2011. Friends, family and co-workers rallied, raising more than $7,000 to send Wolf and his family to enough to Texas for a Dallas Cowboys game.
"Very sad day for the DFD," Darren Moon, a retired Downey fire marshal, wrote on Facebook. "Brian was a dedicated firefighter who took great pride in both his family and his career. He was a great man and will be missed by many."