Extension ladders were crossed high in the air and bagpipes played Saturday morning as Warren firefighters dedicated a monument that honors seven from their own special fraternity who died as a result of their service.
Also heard in and around downtown's Monument Park was the customary ringing of the fire station bell.
The list of seven names stretches from 1931 to 1974: Leroy Bartholomew, Leo O'Brien, Ora Smith, Eugene Spahr, Henry Mann, Roy Kujala and John Mock.
Tribune Chronicle photos / R. Michael Semple
Warren Fire Capt. Bill Monrean rings the “Last Alarm” during the Warren Firefighters Local 204 Memorial Service on Saturday.
Speaking to the brotherhood of firefighters that assembled in the street for the ceremony, Mayor Doug Franklin said, ''We will never forget the price you paid. Our lives are richer for having known them.''
Fire Chief Ken Nussle pointed out that approximately 100 firefighters per year die in the line of duty in the United States.
The rank and file gave credit to retired firefighter Dale Dennison, along with Capt. Tom Walker and Lt. Paul Lamosek for seeing through the project to place the monument next to a police memorial park.
''There were 938 people in the city of Warren when the department started, and here we are 176 years later,'' said Walker, the department's unofficial funeral liaison and the man responsible for seeking donations to create the stonework.
Firefighter John Jerina, local firefighters union president, told how in 1836 Mahoning Fire Company 1 used a hand pump engine named Saratoga, and about 1898, when the I.N. Dawson Fire Company disbanded and the present Warren Fire Department was organized as a professionally, paid department.
''For firefighters, each death of a fellow brother hits close to home, but we understand that their sacrifice is not in vain. For family members, your loss is a lifetime tragedy,'' Jerina said, speaking to the family members who gathered to remember.
And 93-year-old Doris Joseph of Warren was at the ceremony in the front row and remembering when she was 11 and her father, LeRoy Bartholomew, was killed in a Parkman Road N.W. fire when he was caught in a backdraft at a commercial building in 1931. She has lived on Warren's northwest side her whole life.
''I've remembered it (her father's death) every day since,'' said Joseph, while using a cane to get up from her seat.
Sisters Marybeth High of Cortland and Joan Cech of North Carolina passed around a photo album of the times when their father, Roy Kujala, was alive. Some of the snapshots included family vacations. Some photos, though, included the January 1969 traditional firefighters' burial of their father in downtown Warren, when temperatures dropped to 14 degrees.
''He told my sister that he swallowed a bellyfull of smoke the night before at a big fire on Main Street,'' Cech said.
Joe Spahr was there wearing his father's service badge on his lapel in his dad's honor.
''My dad and the others used to go into those fires with a helmet, boats and coats. No breathing apparatus at all. I still remember all his scars from the burns throughout the years,'' said Spahr, who was 8 years old when he lost his father in 1955.
After the ceremony, firefighters, famlies and friends met at a local Moose hall for a lunch, and sons of John Mock remembered their dad who died in 1974 after being severely injured in a fire at a senior citizens complex on Perkinswood Boulevard.
''It's something you don't forget,'' said Tom Mock, who was 19 years old at the time and working his way through college by driving an ambulance for Roberts Funeral Home.
''I was there that night. In fact, there were so many senior citizens that had to be taken from the center where they were staying. The rescue vehicles just lined the street,'' said Mock, a former TV news reporter who now works as a spokesman for the General Motors complex in Lordstown.
Mock and his brother, Dave Mock, a former athletic director for Howland Schools, recalled the considerable time their father spent in the hospital never recovering from the injuries in the blaze.
But the brothers, including a third brother John - who joined the fire department a year after his father died and eventually retired as an assistant chief - also remember the good times.
''Dad told us about his football days and going both ways against Massillon in 1928 when he played for Harding,'' Dave Mock said. ''He was probably all of 140 pounds.''