Posts Tagged Palatine Memorial Service

Palatine LODD Anniversary

Palatine FD Press Release

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Palatine LODD Anniversary

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Palatine 9/11 Memorial Ceremony

Sept 11th Memorial Press Release.doc

silhouette of firemen with American flag

Palatine Fire Department photo

firefighters marching at memorial service

Palatine Fire Department photo

Palatine fire department and police department honor guard

Palatine Fire Department photo

Palatine fire department honor guard

Palatine Fire Department photo

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Palatine FD Memorial

 

FF Memorial Press Release 2014 Memorial Flyer

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Palatine LODD Anniversary

This from John Tobin from Saturday’s memorial service on the 40th anniversary of the Ben Franklin Store fire in Palatine that claimed the lives of three firefighters.

Ben Franklin fire tribute………The fallen three Feb 23, 1973. 
Very nice to see the friends and family come out to pay their respects……..pictures Plote transporting the precious cargo…….two old war horses reunited after 25 years of being apart……honor guard……PFD rural pumper…..family of the fallen fire fighters…….the PFD memorial……. yours truly…….
Emotions still run deep after all these years!
Plote Contractor brings old fire truck home

John Tobin photo

Old Seagrave Snorkel on low boy trailer

John Tobin photo

old Seagrave fire engines

John Tobin photo

old Palatine FD Snorkel

John Tobin photo

 

fire department honor guard

John Tobin photo

Palatine FIre Department

John Tobin photo

old Seagrave engine Palatine Rural FPD

John Tobin photo

 

family members of heroic firefighters

John Tobin photo

Palatine Firefighter Memorial

John Tobin photo

Elgin Firefighter John Tobin

John Tobin

 

Firegeezer.com has an article HERE.

Stacey Page Online has an article HERE.

 

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Palatine LODD Anniversary

Today marks the anniversary of the 1973 fire in Palatine that claimed the lives of three firefighters.

The Daily Herald has an article about the tragic event with photos from John Tobin and a short video with John.

Once the burning Ben Franklin five-and-dime store in downtown Palatine began to breathe in and out — the intensifying pressure preparing to blow out the windows and cave in the roof — that was the unmistakable sign for everyone to pull out.

But word quickly spread among the firemen that three of their brothers were unaware how dangerous the situation had grown.

Volunteer firefighters Warren Ahlgrim, Richard Freeman and John Wilson died in the Feb. 23, 1973, fire, their emptied air packs no match against a seemingly innocuous basement filled with few flames but plenty of carbon monoxide.

“Everyone wanted to save Johnny’s store, and nobody realized what kind of danger they were in,” former Palatine firefighter George Palmer said. “They were good at eating smoke, but had they not had their air packs, they probably would have come out sooner. It was the brave thing to do. But in retrospect, they shouldn’t have gone in.”

The main floor was smokey but clear of flames. Firefighter John Wilson, 40, owned the store and figured the furnace was the likely culprit.

He led Richard “Dick” Freeman, 25, and Warren “Auggie” Ahlgrim, 32, through the building he knew so well. To access the basement, they had to make their way through the long, narrow structure to a set of interior stairs.

Each man was equipped with an air pack. Based on the atmosphere, lung capacity and exertion, their oxygen might last anywhere from about 10 to 20 minutes.

At one point, Wilson came upstairs and got another line from Tobin’s dad, saying the fire was pretty much snuffed. That was the last time anyone saw him alive, as the fire, in fact, had spread.

Tobin and high school classmate Rick Cartwright both had their cameras at the scene and captured gut-wrenching shots of firefighter Howie Freeman working to put out the blaze, and later being held back from trying to rescue his son.

Crews eventually removed the bodies once the structure was safe enough to enter.

“We all stood there silently and respectfully while each of them were loaded into the ambulances,” said Tobin, who recently wrote a book about the fire. “The whole town was affected. I know I’ve never been the same.”

The entire article can be found HERE.

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Palatine Firefighter Memorial Service

Palatine Firefighter Memorial Service

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Palatine Firefighter Memorial Service

Palatine Firefighter Memorial Service

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