Kingman remembers fallen
Hundreds gathered to remember their fallen family and friends at the 35th anniversary memorial ceremony of the Doxol explosion.
They packed the gymnasium at Kingman Middle School on Saturday sharing memories, updating each other on life's happenings and making sure never to forget the sacrifice of the 11 firefighters who died as a result of the propane railroad tanker explosion on July 5, 1973.
"It's 35 years later, and it still feels like yesterday," said Bob Barger, director of Arizona Fire, Building and Life Safety.
Barger was one of three speakers, which included Mayor John Salem and Professional Firefighters of Arizona President Tim Hill, to stand before the community following the presentation of the colors and flag ceremony.
The most poignant moment came during the bell ceremony.
Kingman Fire Chief Chuck Osterman read the names of John Campbell, William Casson, Joseph Chambers III, M.B. "Jimmy" Cox, Alan Hansen, Frank "Butch" Henry, Roger Hubka, Christopher Sanders, Art Stringer, Donald Webb and Richard Lee Williams - pausing in between for the Kingman Fire Department Honor Guard to ring the alarm bell six times for each of the fallen firefighters. A moment of silence followed the reading of the lone civilian, Marvin Mast, killed in the incident.
Following the ceremony in the gymnasium, the KFD rededicated the memorial plaque at the neighboring Firefighters Memorial Park.
It was followed by a Careflight helicopter flyover.
Kingman Fire Prevention Specialist Keith Eaton was one of the many within the department to plan the memorial.
"The thing about doing this and preparing for the memorial is that we got to know them (the firefighters)," Eaton said, "and getting to see the faces that were connected with them, that was a real pleasure."
Kingman Fire Captain Bob Casson was one of those who suffered a great loss 35 years ago. His father, William, was killed at the scene.
"They did a great job and everything," Bob Casson said. "I've been hearing from the families that they're very appreciative of the efforts."