Wreath Laying Ceremony
February 20, 2012
On Thursday, February 23, 2012, the Palatine Fire Department will be conducting a brief ceremony to recognize the service and sacrifice of three Palatine volunteer firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.
On February 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 smoky, early morning fire started in the basement of retail storefront and quickly spread throughout the entire building. Wilson, Freeman and Ahlgrim were manning the first hoseline and died while fighting the fire in the basement of the store.
The annual memorial ceremony will be held at the Palatine Firefighters Memorial at the corner of N. Brockway St. and W. Slade St. in downtown Palatine, IL. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and members of the press and the public are encouraged to attend. Members of the Palatine Fire Department Honor Guard will present a wreath and perform a brief firefighter bell ceremony honoring the three firefighters that paid the ultimate sacrifice 39 years ago.