ST. LOUIS – The funeral service for a St. Louis firefighter killed one week ago while battling a fire at a vacant north St. Louis home took place Thursday morning.

Friends and family gathered at the Cathedral Basilica to remember 33-year-old Benjamin Polson.

“This loss hits us all hard,” said St. Louis Fire Department Captain Larry Conley. “Ben was doing what he had grown to love. He was working hard to fulfill his oath of service to St. Louis.”

The tragedy that claimed Polson’s life happened Thursday, Jan. 13 at a vacant home on Cote Brilliante in north St. Louis. Polson and other firefighters were responded to a fire at the vacant building. While he and other firefighters were inside checking to make sure nobody was trapped, the roof of the building collapsed. This killed Polson and injured another firefighter.

Polson graduated from St. John Vianney High School in 2007. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Missouri State University. After getting his MBA from Drury and graduating with a law degree from UMKC, Polson joined the city fire department in November of 2019. He followed in his father’s footsteps, a retired St. Louis City Fire Department captain. 

Many described the fallen hero as a public servant, loving brother, friend, hockey player, and respected firefighter.

“Firefighter Ben Polson raised his right hand and pledged to serving and protecting the citizens of St. Louis in 2019,” said St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson. “He dedicated his life to the commitment and service of humanity. Ben could have done anything he set his mind to.”

Firetrucks lined the street outside the Cathedral Basilica for this morning’s funeral. Last night, a huge American flag flew outside Kutis funeral Home during Polson’s visitation. Inside Kutis many people paid their respects to Polson including firefighters in full uniform. The firefighters came through saluting Polson. Among those taking part was Chief Dennis Jenkerson.

After the service, there was a procession to Resurrection Cemetery in Affton where the interment took place. The public was encouraged to line the procession route to show support for Polson and his family.