Redding lost one of its best Monday. Fire Chief Gerry Gray was only 54 years old, which makes his death all the more difficult to accept. It was first reported that he died in his sleep, although the pronouncement was officially made at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Red Bluff, the town he still called home. Chief Gray stayed in Red Bluff for the benefit of his three children, despite having worked for Redding Fire Department for the past 10 years. A graduate of Humboldt State University with a Zoology Degree, Gerry Gray began his fire service as a seasonal firefighter at Lassen National Park. He was hired full time by the Red Bluff Fire Department in 1994. He worked his way up to Chief in 2006, and then joined Redding Fire as a Battalion Chief in 2008. He made Deputy Chief 2 years later and was appointed Chief in 2015. Although he was not on duty when he died, Gerry Gray was never really off duty. And he never will be. The kind of a man who was called “friend” by almost everyone who knew him, Gerry Gray will be missed by many more than just his family and coworkers. The entire community mourns his loss. Arrangements for services are being made.