Today Marks Three Years Since Godfrey Fire Captain Jake Ringering Lost His Life Fighting A Fire

GODFREY – Today marks the three-year anniversary of the death of Godfrey Fire Captain Jake Ringering.

Captain Ringering lost his life while battling a structure fire on March 5, 2019. A wall collapsed killing Ringering and seriously injuring Godfrey firefighter Luke Warner and two Bethalto firefighters.

After the fire at a press conference Godfrey’s then fire chief Erik Kambarian described Ringering as “gold” saying “everyone wanted to train with him and be on duty with him, so they could learn from him. He said Ringering’s efforts often attracted people to the Godfrey Fire Protection District due to his dedication and professionalism.”

Captain Ringering came from a family of firefighters, his grandpa was an East Alton firefighter, his dad Larry Ringering worked his way through the ranks and was East Alton Fire Chief then over the Madison County Emergency Management. His brother was also a firefighter for East Alton then Godfrey.

Friends of Ringering described him as always smiling and a happy guy. Ringering was huge into training new firefighters and was a teacher at Lewis and Clark Community College in the fire science program.

After Ringering’s death Backstoppers presented a check for $10,000 upon their loved one’s passing, which they can use for whatever they need. Also, area businesses and community members had multiple fundraisers and donated the proceeds to the family of Ringering and the other injured firefighters.

At Captain Ringering’s visitation over 1,000 first responders across Illinois, Missouri, and as far as Chicago, New York City, Boston and many more showed their respects. During the funeral procession, hundreds of residents lined the streets holding up signs, flags, and other items to show support.

On August 22, 2019, the Madison County board passed a resolution to demolish the house where Captain Ringering fought his last fire.

On the three-year anniversary, Ringerrings brother and fellow firefighter Chris Stratton had a fund-raising in his honor that involves a 40-mile, 40-pound ruck, with Jake being 40 years old this year.

“The ruck will be starting at 0400 at station 2 in Godfrey, traveling down the Great River road into Grafton and to the turn around point of Pere Marquette. Anyone is welcome to join for any portion of the ruck. The time frame will be around 17 hours total time. Members of Godfrey, Granite City, and Alton Fire Departments will participate in the fundraiser.

“This year, in honor of my brother Jake Ringering some folks and I will be completing a 40 mile, 40lbs ruck. Jake would have been 40 years old this year. Every penny that’s donated will be given to Backstoppers Inc and FOB Rasor. I will be pledging $10/ Mile that is completed during the ruck.” Chris Stratton said

Chris Rhodes
Author: Chris Rhodes

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