The same day two Chicago firefighters died from a roof collapse in a vacant building fire also marked the 30-year anniversary in Racine of two firefighters losing their lives in a restaurant fire.
Current Battalion Chief George Filber was a rookie back then, but says the loss of Clyde Carre and Jon Hogle is still felt. “It’s like taking a family member away from you when you lose a firefighter. We lost two there — John and Clyde — at that fire.”
Filber says the Chicago tragedy brought home the reminder. “You know, sometimes it’s in the back of your mind but when something like this happens you’re like ‘oh my God today’s the day.'”
Two Racine men were tried but acquitted on arson and murder charges. The site is now a neighborhood playground, while the city named a park in honor of the firefighters.
Tom Karkow, WRJN Racine