Aug 2, 2016 10:50 AM
FRANCESTOWN - A community is in mourning after a Francestown teenager died just days before becoming a firefighter.
Now, the department is preparing to bring home the body of 18-year-old Cole Wohle Tuesday afternoon.
“I don't think it's sunk in yet with a lot of us,” said David Kullgre, deputy chief at the Francestown Fire Department.
Black bunting was draped over the Francestown Fire Department as the town mourned Whole, who passed away over the weekend.
“Just a smart kid, witty, funny, always had a smile, always upbeat,” Kullgre said.
It's unclear what happened, but the teen experienced some kind of emergency at a rodeo in Vermont.
“After his ride, he got back to the gate, he suffered some type of medical event, he collapsed, paramedics were right on him, but unfortunately they were unable bring him back,” Kullgre said.
NRI Photography was at the event and was able to snap this photo.
Cole is remembered fondly for his dedication to the fire department - starting out in their explorer program. He was just days away from being voted in as an active member of the volunteer department.
“Hard worker, loved hunting, fishing, the fire department and his family,” Kullgre said.
Cole's father is also a firefighter in town. The department is offering the family support, they've set up a fund at TD Bank called friends of the Wohle family.
Firefighters and state police will travel to the Vermont border Tuesday to escort Cole's body back home.
A memorial service is planned for this Sunday at the old meeting house in Francestown.
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