For Auburn Fire Department Chaplain James Enright, there are two buildings that always stand out in a community: the churches and the firehouses. And once a year, he said, the two come together in the city of Auburn in a special, time-honored tradition. On Wednesday night, dozens of people packed the pews at Willard Memorial Chapel for the fire department's annual memorial service to remember local firefighters who have died.
The memorial service began more than 20 years ago in memory of three Auburn firefighters who were killed in a gas station explosion on March 30, 1960. Every year, active members of the department read the names of former local firefighters who have passed away, Auburn Fire Chief Joseph Morabito said, and every year, that list of names gets longer.