A year after a roof collapse killed two Chicago firefighters, and just a day after prosecutors announced charges against the building's owner, fire officials will return to the scene of the tragedy later today to pay their respects to the fallen heroes.

Firefighters Corey Ankum, 34, and Edward Stringer, 47, died on Dec. 22, 2010, while battling a blaze at an abandoned laundry at 1744 E. 75th St. in the South Shore neighborhood.

Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff is expected to be on hand with fellow firefighters and the Gold Badge Society, on organization for widows and family members of fallen firefighters, will attend the memorial at what is now a vacant lot.

Colleagues and loved ones have said they've struggled to make sense of the tragedy that also injured numerous firefighters when the truss roof collapsed that cold December day.

"We're over the shock of it," Stringer's brother, Michael Torres, 45, told the Tribune this week. "But the pain ... I don't know if that will ever go away."

"It's always in the back of your mind," said Don Rose, a firefighter who worked with Ankum, as he sat at a table with other firefighters at their firehouse Sunday night. "Always."

The tragedy took on another dimension on Wednesday, a day before the one-year anniversary, when the Cook County state's attorney's office petitioned to hold Chuck M. Dai, the building's owner, in criminal contempt for failing to comply with court orders to repair and secure the structure before the fatal fire.

Records show the city had cited Dai for 14 separate code violations before the fire, but the building was never repaired or torn down. Relatives of Ankum and Stringer have filed wrongful-death lawsuits against the owner.

December 22nd also marks the 101st anniversary of the Chicago Stockyards fire that killed 21 firefighters.