Ilion Fire Department honors fallen member Burton Seymour

ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - On the 50th anniversary of the Ilion High School Fire that claimed the life of Fireman Burton Seymour, his entire family attended a ceremony at the Ilion Fire Department that honored him.

Engine 2 was rededicated in memory of Seymour. Several dozen turned out to the firehouse to remember Seymour's dedication that day.

Firefighters responded to the blaze on that morning in 1963. There was extensive damage to the building because of the fire, including two dozen classrooms, the auditorium, the girls' gymnasium, and offices. The fire originated in an air shaft on the third floor, with flames spreading to the roof because of high winds.

Seymour died fighting the fire, as he fell from the second-floor roof into the courtyard below. Volunteer fireman Robert Day was also seriously injured in the fall. Archive reports say Seymour and Day had been running hose lines over the building.

Current Ilion Firefighters say they think about Seymour every time they enter or leave the firehouse.

Retired firefighter Robert Smithson said, "Officer Seymour was a father image to me, being a young rookie at the time in the department. I'll never forget him, and I constantly think about him."

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