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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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HONOR"The late Louis Fifarek, a member of the Marinette Fire Department for over 36 years and who died in the line of duty in 1958, was honored in a ceremony Saturday, October 21 at the Marinette Fire station. Family and friends were present along with firefighters from the Marinette and Menominee Fire Departments to pay their respects to Fifarek. Marinette Fire Chief Jay Heckel, was instrumental in getting the line of duty death ceremony for Fifarek. Gene Fifarek, the son of Louis was present to witness the ceremony honoring his father. Gene was given a Marinette Fire Department helmet to commemorate the occasion. Members of the Marinette Fire Department pictured left to right are Levi Sanborn, Steven Kunick, Beau Liebman, Jason Lemire and Lt. Mark Diercks. Front row Chief Jay Heckel, Gene Fifarek and Gary Fifarek.

Marinette Firefighters Honor Louis Fifarek In LODD Ceremony

Issue Date: October 26, 2017

A Line of Duty Death Ceremony was held at the Marinette Fire Department, Saturday, October 21 to honor firefighter Louis Fifarek, who died on while on duty with the Marinette Fire Department in 1958.

Louis Fifarek, joined the Marinette Fire Department on November 9, 1922 at the age of 28. He was a member of the fire department for over 4 years until June 1, 1927 when he left the fire service to take a position on the Marinette Police Department. Fifarek, rejoined the Marinette Fire Department on June 14, 1927 after just two weeks of working as a police officer.

He continued his service with the Marinette Fire Department answering many calls over the years until October 21, 1958. On that day at approximately 5:35 pm the fire department responded to a garage fire at 1018 Oakes Street in Marinette. While "catching a hydrant", Fifarek was stricken and passed away at 5:40 pm. He was 64 years old at the time of his final alarm. Fifarek left behind his wife Doris, a daughter Marlene and a son Gene.

At Saturday's ceremony, Marinette Fire Chief Jay Heckel, along with members of the Marinette and Menominee Fire Depart-ments present gave the opening remarks saying "we gather here today to pay respect to the memory of firefighter Louis Fifarek and remember his service and sacrifice and to honor his family."

Gary Fifarek, a grandson to Louis, spoke on behalf of the Fifarek family and thanked the Marinette Fire Department for all their work to make this day special.

It was exactly 59 years to the day that Louis died serving the citizens of Marinette. Firefighter Beau Liebman presented a department helmet to Gene Fifarek, son of Louis.

After the helmet presentation, the final bell ceremony took place. Chief Heckle remarks stated the men and women of today's fire service are confronted with a more dangerous work environment than ever before. Firefighters are forced to continually change strategies and tactics to accomplish goals.

Methods may change, but goals remain the same as they were in the past to save lives and protect property, sometimes at a terrible cost. This is what we do, this is our chosen profession, and this is the tradition of the firefighter.

The fire service today is ever changing. It is steeped on traditions some over 200 years old. One such tradition is the sound of a bell.

In the past, as firefighters began their tour of duty, it was the bell that signaled the beginning of the day's shift. Throughout the day and night, the bell sounded each alarm. The bell summoned these brave souls to fight fires and to place their lives in jeopardy for the good of their fellow citizens. When the fire was out and the alarm had come to an end, it was the bell that signaled the completion of the call. When a firefighter died in the line of duty, paying the supreme sacrifice, it was the mournful toll of the bell that solemnly announced a comrade's passing.

We utilize these traditions as symbols, which reflect honor and respect on those who have given so much, and served so well. To symbolize the devotion that these brave souls had for their duty, a special signal of three rings, three times represents the end of a firefighter's duty and that they will be returning to quarters. And so, to those who have selflessly given their lives for the good of their fellow man, their tasks completed, their duties well done, to our comrades, their last alarm, they are going home. Firefighter Liebman then rang the bell for the final alarm.

Upon completion of the bell ceremony, a memorial marker was unveiled. It read, to honor the memory of firefighter Louis Fifarek, line of duty death October 21, 1958 we unveil this memorial marker. This marker will stand as a lasting tribute to his service and a reminder of his sacrifice. Following the unveiling, the firefighter prayer was read by Chief Heckel.


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