Services and Memorials Announced For Wilmington’s Fallen Firefighters

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Wilmington: Plans are in place for two funeral services and a joint memorial service honoring Wilmington fire Lt. Christopher Leach and Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes Jr., who gave their lives in the line of duty last Saturday while fighting a fire in the 1900 block of Lakeview Avenue.

Bruce Schweiger, president of Wilmington’s Firefighters Union, Local #1590 said, “It’s hard to estimate how many people will come out, the memorial service scheduled for 1:00 P.M. Saturday could see anywhere between 2,000 and 20,000 people.”

Agencies looking to provide honor guards for leach’s funeral procession and at the joint memorial service may contact Griff jordan at

Those looking to provide pipes and drums at the memorial service should contact Mike Khairzada at to set up logistics.

The arrangements are as follows:

For Senior Firefighter Fickes:

For fire service personnel and the general public, there will be a viewing at Grace Lutheran Church, 2033 Graves Road in Hockessin, 5-8pm Thursday.

For family, friends and members of the Wilmington Fire Department, a second viewing will be from 2-4 P.M. on Friday, with a private service to follow. Seating and parking will be extremely limited.

For Lt. Leach:

For family and friends, Wilmington Fire Department, and local first responders, services will be at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, 809 S. Broom Street in Wilmington at 10:00 A.M. Friday. There will be a viewing and services, it’ll be followed by a funeral mass at noon.

Joint Memorial Service:

A joint memorial service will be held starting at noon on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Chase Center on the Riverfront, 815 Justison Street. This will be the main service honoring Lt. Leach and Senior Firefighter Fickes and is open to all firefighters, first responders, friends and the public.

This will be the only event where departments will be able to stage their apparatus as part of a static display of honor.

The funerals services, and announcement was arraigned and planned by The Wilmington Firefighter’s Association, Local 1590, the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and the Wilmington Fire Department. It came after consultation with the families.


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