ST. LOUIS — St. Louis City Firefighter Benjamin Polson,33, tragically died in the line of duty on Thursday when a roof collapsed inside an abandoned home, as he was searching for people who may have been trapped in the fire.

On Wednesday, hundreds of people including firefighters from other states are expected to line the procession route with apparatus’ in honor of Polson. 

“The fire service is a very tight knight brotherhood,” Chief James Silvernail of the Kirkwood Fire Department and Backstoppers Board member said. “The fire community is going to come out in a large presence to support our fallen brother.”

A public visitation is set at Kutis Funeral Home from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Overflow parking and shuttle service will be available from nearby Grant’s Farm. A funeral mass open to the public is set for 10 a.m. Thursday at the Cathedral Basilica. An inurnment at Resurrection Cemetery in Affton is scheduled after the funeral mass.

“This is more than a profession, it is a family and what we’ll see Wednesday and Thursday is a testament to that. It’s going to be a very large display of brotherhood,” Silvernail said.

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. 

The procession route is expected to be released Wednesday.

In lieu of flowers, the Polson family has asked donations be made to The Backstoppers Foundation. The weather is expected to be cold during the arrangements honoring Polson. Fire crews have been told to make sure apparatus’ have full tanks of gas.

Polson is the first St. Louis City firefighter killed while actively fighting a fire in some 20 years.