Family grieves Byron woman electrocuted in house fire

Loved ones say she acted without knowing it would be her last moment.
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 5:17 PM CDT
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BYRON, Ill. (WIFR) - Family members of a Byron woman try to wrap their minds around her sudden death over the weekend after they say she came in contact with a live power line.

“It hurts. It hurts a lot. And I don’t think you understand the full totality of it,” said Pete Rosa.

These are difficult words for Rosa, as he struggles to grasp the death of his family member, 32-year-old Marley McFarland.

“Marley and I had a connection because we both served in the military,” Rosa said. “And in the military one of the first things you learn is sacrifice.”

And that’s exactly what she did Saturday morning, as she ran outside her home on West Third Street in Byron to help her neighbors escape a house fire.

“She did it not knowing it would be one of the last things she ever did.”

Rosa says Marley came in contact with a live power line, shocking her to death. First responders suspect the recent snowstorm knocked down the wire. Marley is the mother of five children, including a baby born just a few months ago.

“In a situation like this, you try to focus on one step at a time so you’re not overwhelmed,” said Rosa.

She also leaves behind a boyfriend and former husband, who now must navigate the role of a single father.

“It’s easy to close your eyes and look five years into the future, and be crushed by the weight of the decisions you’ll have to make,” Rosa said.

But Rosa says his family is overwhelmed by the support and generosity of community members, who, with every minute that passes, step up in remarkable ways to help loved ones as they face their lives without Marley.

“They’re still a family,” Rosa said, “Albeit, without one of the most important pieces, and that’s mom.”

Rosa and his wife created a GoFundMe page to help Marley’s boyfriend, former husband and her kids.

Loved ones also encourage the community to join them at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 28 outside Marley’s home in Byron on West Third Street, as they light a candle in her honor.