Funerals, memorial announced for Wilmington's fallen firefighters

Plans are now in place for a 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.

For Senior Firefighter Fickes, there will be a public viewing at Grace Lutheran Church, 2033 Graves Road in Hockessin, 5-8pm Thursday. Fire personnel are asked to pay their respects during this time.

A second viewing will be 2-4pm Friday, with a private service to follow. This event is just for family, friends and members of the Wilmington Fire Department. Seating and parking will be extremely limited.

For Lt. Leach, services will be at St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church, 809 S. Broom Street in Wilmington on Friday. At 10am, there will be a viewing for family and friends, the Wilmington Fire Department and local first responders. It'll be followed by a funeral mass at noon.

Then, 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.

It comes after consultation with the families, and was arranged by The Wilmington Firefighter's Association, Local 1590, the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and the Wilmington Fire Department.