Palatine ceremony Sunday will honor three firefighters who died fighting 1973 blaze
The Palatine Fire Department will host a brief ceremony Sunday morning to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters who died in the line of duty fighting a fire 47 years earlier.
On Feb. 23, 1973, volunteer firefighters John Wilson, Richard Freeman and Warren Ahlgrim lost their lives fighting a fire in the Ben Franklin store in downtown Palatine. The early morning fire started in the basement of the store and quickly spread throughout the building. Wilson, Freeman, and Ahlgrim were on the first hose line and died while fighting the fire in the basement of the store.
The memorial ceremony will be held at the Palatine Firefighter's Memorial at the corner of North Brockway and West Slade streets in the village's downtown. The Palatine Fire Honor Guard will step off from Station 85 at 39 E. Colfax at about 8:45 a.m. and march to the memorial. The ceremony will begin at about 9 a.m. and include a wreath presentation and ringing of the ceremonial fire bell honoring the three firefighters that paid the ultimate sacrifice 47 years ago.
The ceremony is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.