The Palatine Fire Department will host its annual open house Saturday, Oct. 1, an especially significant day to the village and its firefighters.
That Saturday will mark the 65th anniversary of the day volunteer firefighters Wesley R. Comfort Jr. and Leonard Nebel were killed in the line of duty when their fire engine was struck by a train. They were responding from the Slade Street fire station to a house fire at Smith Street and Dundee Road.
To recognize the 1946 tragedy, Palatine has named Oct. 1 the Palatine Volunteer Firefighters Day of Remembrance. The U.S. flag will be flown at half-staff at all village facilities.
Residents are invited to learn more about the fire department at its annual open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Station 84, 220 W. Illinois Ave.
The family-friendly, interactive event will feature fire and rescue vehicles and equipment on display, station tours and refreshments. The department's dive rescue, hazardous materials, technical rescue and bike medic teams also will display their equipment.
A tentative schedule for the open house calls for Flight for Life at 11 a.m., a Mr. Wizard fire behavior demonstration at noon and a flashover/sprinkler room demonstration at 1 p.m., officials said.
There also will be a public education trailer, and fire extinguisher training and vehicle extrication demonstrations will take place periodically throughout the event. Representatives from the Palatine Police Department and the Palatine Emergency Management Agency also will attend.