East Peoria firefighters hold 35th annual memorial service


East Peoria (WEEK) – The East Peoria fire department held its 35th annual firefighter memorial service.

The service honored the memory of the four East Peoria firefighters who died in the line of duty.

Those fire department members are: Firefighter George E. Cornwell Sr and Assistant Chief Marvin J. Stein, who both died Jan. 28, 1959, during a fire at the Green Gables Tavern, Captain Armando E. Ballerini, who died after having a heart attack at a fire scene; and firefighter William A. Folmar, who died Sept. 27, 1980, when he was hit by a vehicle while on the scene of an accident on Murray Baker Bridge.

“The reason we hold this memorial and we’ve done it for 35 years is to make sure that we’re honoring those that have put the ultimate sacrifice their lives on the line for their community,” East Peoria Fire Chief John Knapp said.

The event featured bagpipe players and awards for exemplary and lifesaving achievements by firemen and firewomen.

The service marked the beginning of the East Peoria Fire Department’s October fire prevention week activities.

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