Russell passed away Monday night at the age of 74.
Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll said it was an apparent natural death and that Russell had been having heart problems.
Peoria Fire Chief Kent Tomblin worked with Russell for 25 years. He said he'll remember his sense of humor and his dedication to the job. He said, "He risked his life back in the early years and then he raised the bar for all of us when he was Chief, so nothing but respect for the man and I certainly will miss him a ton."
Russell served with the Peoria Fire Department for 34 years and as a State Fire Marshal for two and half years.
A visitation will be held Thursday from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Sacred Heart Church, followed by a mass on Friday morning at 10:30 AM.