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Helmet found in Ohio basement returned to firefighter’s family

A couple used Facebook to find the family of Clarence Wilker, a longtime Lorain firefighter whose helmet had been hidden away in their basement



By FireRescue1 staff

LORAIN, Ohio — After finding an old firefighting helmet in their basement, a Lorain couple sought out its rightful owner, and ultimately brought cherished memories back to a firefighting family.

It all started when Alicia and Andrew Zadorozny were cleaning out a storage area in their basement and came across the helmet, which they had never seen, reported Fox 8.

The Helmet showed the name “Wilker,” so the Zadoroznys decided to see if they could find the owner, or at least the owner’s family.



After posting about the helmet on Facebook, local firefighters reached out, suspecting that the helmet belonged to a longtime Lorain firefighter named Clarence Wilker, who passed away in 1990.

Wilker’s son, Brian, served as a lieutenant with the Westlake Fire Department before retiring in 2021.

Brian told Fox 8 that he got texts from other firefighters about the helmet and whether it belonged to his dad – and it did. Brian is not sure how the helmet ended up at the Zadoroznys home, but he’s happy to have it back.

Brian shared that his father’s battered helmet embodies his fighting spirit and commitment to helping others in their time of need, and he is grateful that the Zadoroznys made the effort to find him.

“It’s some important memorabilia for us and they were able to give it back to us, because we completely lost track of it,” Brian told Fox 8.