AFFTON, Mo. — Friends, family, and community members gathered Wednesday to remember fallen St. Louis Benjamin Polson during his visitation at Kutis Funeral Home in Affton.

Polson, 33, died last Thursday when the roof of a burning home collapsed in north St. Louis as he searched for people who may have been trapped in the fire.

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson knew Polson years before he wore a badge. 

“I knew Ben starting around 8 or 9 years old, playing hockey with one of the clubs I helped coach. He played hockey with my son,” Jenkerson said. “It’s still very difficult when you’re running into certain acquaintances and had certain connections with it and it makes it very title hold it together.” 

Polson grew up in South St. Louis.  He graduated from Vianney High School and then Missouri State University. He earned his MBA, a law degree, and was even a ski instructor in Colorado.

In 2019, he followed his calling and joined the St. Louis Fire Department – a legacy started by his dad James Polson, who’s a retired fire captain.  

“He wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. Ben would do anything you asked of him, and he was just that kind of guy. He gave 100%,” Smith said.

Polson was also known for his killer dance moves and fun personality. Jenkerson says he’s gotten messages from fire departments across the country and across the world. 

A funeral mass is set for 10:00 a.m. Thursday at the Cathedral Basilica with a private burial at Resurrection Cemetery to follow.  Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also ordered flags to be flown at half-staff Thursday, sunrise to sunset.