Rochester Fire Department honors two firefighters who risked it - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Rochester Fire Department honors two firefighters who risked it all

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

Christmas Eve is a usually a time for celebration, but early Sunday morning it was a time of remembrance.

The Rochester Fire Department held their annual ceremony to remember two firefighters who died on Christmas Eve 1953.

It was on that day that a 9-year-old boy, John Paul Stephenson, slipped through the ice on Silver Lake and two firefighters, Ambrose Riley and Stanley O'Brien tried to save him.

The men tried grabbing the boy out of the water, but he fell beneath the surface.

They dove in to try and find him and all three disappeared under the ice before they were dragged out of the water and none of them survived.

Sunday's ceremony included the laying of a wreath on the lake.

"The fire service is a calling and we all know that in this circumstance that we would be willing to do that same thing they did. We risk a lot to save a lot, so knowing that worst case if something did happen, God forbid, it's nice that we would be remembered," said Rochester Fire Department Captain, Caleb Feine.

The Fire Department hopes residents understand the sacrifices first responders make, as well as to use caution around the ice.

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