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

The funeral mass was open to the public Thursday at the Cathedral Basilica. An inurnment at Resurrection Cemetery in Affton happened after the funeral mass.

There were hundreds, possibly thousands of people who attended the mass and lined the streets to honor Polson. Firetrucks, and other vehicles joined in the funeral procession.

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. 

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.