Cicero town President Larry Dominick on Tuesday will ask the Cook County State's Attorney's Office to seek the death penalty against the two men accused of setting a fire that ultimately killed seven lives.
Roughly 200 people were expected to gather at Sam Buca's Bar and Restaurant in Palos Heights to raise money for Ahrens, who was injured while fighting the Valentine's Day fire when part of a chimney collapsed on him. The falling debris caused trauma to his head and injuries to his back. Initially hospitalized, he is now recovering at home and was expected to attend the event.
His mother, Sherry Ahrens, called the incidents one of the worst in her entire life.
"He may be 39 years old, but he'll never stop being my son. I'm just happy he's getting better and doing well," she said.
Ahrens is a fourth generation firefighter. His father, Dennis, was a firefighter for more than thirty years in Elgin and Crystal Lake.
"I know the chances of surviving after a chimney collapse are slim, it's one of the first things were taught," the elder Ahrens said as he choked back tears, "I'm just so grateful he's doing better. I can't believe someone would do this and kill seven people for money."
Seven people, ranging in age from 20 years to three-days-old, were killed in the fire that tore through the three-flat building. The landlord, Lawrence Meyers, and property manager, Marion Andre Comier, are being held on charges of murder and arson.