Palatine remembers sacrifice of volunteer firefighters 45 years ago

  • Firefighter/paramedic Brandon Lefebvre places a wreath during a ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters who were killed in the line of duty while battling a Ben Franklin store fire on Feb. 23, 1973.

    Firefighter/paramedic Brandon Lefebvre places a wreath during a ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters who were killed in the line of duty while battling a Ben Franklin store fire on Feb. 23, 1973. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Rose Ahlgrim, widow of Warren Ahlgrim, holds flowers that were presented to her by firefighters following a ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters -- Ahlgrim, John Wilson and Richard Freeman -- who were killed in the line of duty while battling a fire on Feb. 23, 1973.

    Rose Ahlgrim, widow of Warren Ahlgrim, holds flowers that were presented to her by firefighters following a ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters -- Ahlgrim, John Wilson and Richard Freeman -- who were killed in the line of duty while battling a fire on Feb. 23, 1973. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • The Palatine Fire Department holds a ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters -- Richard Freeman, Warren Ahlgrim and John Wilson -- who were killed in the line of duty while battling a fire on Feb. 23, 1973.

    The Palatine Fire Department holds a ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters -- Richard Freeman, Warren Ahlgrim and John Wilson -- who were killed in the line of duty while battling a fire on Feb. 23, 1973. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Firefighter/paramedic Jeb Kaiser plays "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipe during a ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters who were killed in the line of duty while battling a fire on Feb. 23, 1973.

    Firefighter/paramedic Jeb Kaiser plays "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipe during a ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters who were killed in the line of duty while battling a fire on Feb. 23, 1973. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Coats, helmets and boots rest at the base of the Palatine Firefighters Memorial following a ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters who were killed in the line of duty while battling a Ben Franklin store fire on Feb. 23, 1973.

    Coats, helmets and boots rest at the base of the Palatine Firefighters Memorial following a ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters who were killed in the line of duty while battling a Ben Franklin store fire on Feb. 23, 1973. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Members of the Palatine Fire Department salute during a ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters -- Richard Freeman, Warren Ahlgrim and John Wilson -- who were killed in the line of duty while battling a Ben Franklin store fire on Feb. 23, 1973.

    Members of the Palatine Fire Department salute during a ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters -- Richard Freeman, Warren Ahlgrim and John Wilson -- who were killed in the line of duty while battling a Ben Franklin store fire on Feb. 23, 1973. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Retired firefighter/paramedic Mark Hallett speaks during a ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters who were killed in the line of duty while battling a Ben Franklin store fire on Feb. 23, 1973.

    Retired firefighter/paramedic Mark Hallett speaks during a ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters who were killed in the line of duty while battling a Ben Franklin store fire on Feb. 23, 1973. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 2/23/2018 4:56 PM

Palatine Friday marked the 45th anniversary of the loss of three volunteer firefighters who died in the basement of the Ben Franklin store.

Richard Freeman, Warren Ahlgrim and John Wilson were on the first hose line at the early morning fire, which started in the basement and quickly spread throughout the entire building.

 

Rose Ahlgrim, made a widow by the fire, held flowers presented to her by firefighters during a ceremony at the Palatine Firefighters Memorial at the corner of North Brockway and West Slade streets that included speeches, a wreath-laying ceremony and a bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace."

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