Fire-damaged flag cleaned, returned to family

By The Associated Press

HOBART — A group of northwestern Indiana firefighters has cleaned and returned a fired-damaged American flag to the family of a Korean War veteran.

After a January fire gutted his Hobart apartment, Steven Paul asked firefighters to try to find the flag he'd received at the funeral for his Navy veteran father, Kenneth E. Paul.

They found the flag but it was damaged and debris-covered, so Hobart firefighters offered to find a way to clean it.

The Post-Tribune reports two cleaners declined to treat it, saying cleaning chemicals could damage it further.

The firefighters instead gently cleaned the flag with detergent and restored its shadowbox, returning them Thursday to one of Paul's relatives.

Assistant Fire Chief John Papka says the restored flag gives the family "hope and a little bit of honor."




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