1st responder and Plainfield native Kevin Sanders killed in Texas fertilizer plant explosion honored
April 27, 2013 (PLAINFIELD, Ill.) (WLS) -- The body of a first responder killed in the explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant was returned to the Chicago area Saturday night.
Several fire departments gave a full honors escort as the body of Kevin Sanders was being transported from O'Hare Airport to Plainfield.
"We don't like to do it but we have to do it," Frankfort Fire Department Chief Larry Rauch said.
The procession from O'Hare to a Plainfield funeral home included first responders from all over the Chicago area as they lined up to escort one of their own home.
"It's a tribute to those in the fire service who have lost their life. It's closure for all of us," Rauch said.
A Plainfield native, 33-year old Sanders was among the 14 people killed in the Texas fertilizer plant explosion on April 17.
At the time of the initial alarm Sanders, who has spent the last couple of years with the all-volunteer Bruceville-Eddy Fire Department in West Texas, was taking an EMT class. His group responded to the fire and was helping to evacuate nearby residents when the explosion ripped through.
"There is no more sacrifice someone can give as far as laying down there life for someone else , so everything you see over the next four or five days is honoring him but also his family," Plainfield Police Department Chief John Konopeck said.
While it's been some time since sanders was a part of Plainfield's emergency management team, where he worked for five years before moving to Texas, his former brothers have not forgotten.
"There are a few members that remained in pretty good contact with him even after he moved down to Texas, but all of our members worked side by side with him during the time he was here, so some are taking it hard," Konopeck said.
local, michelle gallardo
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