Firefighters from Ohio and around the nation gathered inside
Toledo’s downtown convention center to celebrate the lives and
service of Stephen Machcinski and James Dickman,
who died fighting a blaze inside a six-unit apartment building
``They deserve, and rightfully so, the title of heroes,'' said
Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins, a former police officer.
Radio calls from the scene of the fire indicated that the pair
faced rapidly deteriorating conditions once inside the burning
apartment building near downtown. Firefighters found them
inside, carried them out and tried unsuccessfully to save them.
Autopsies released this week showed that Machcinski and Dickman
died from burns and carbon monoxide.
At the memorial service, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown hailed
Machcinski , 42, and Dickman, 31, as men of integrity who loved
their families and took pride in their work.
Machcinski had been a firefighter for 16 years. Dickman was on
the job for six months and had previously been with the Perkins
Township fire department near Sandusky. Friends said Dickman
joined the Toledo department because it was his dream to work
with a big city department.
funeral was held for Private Dickman on Friday afternoon in
Sandusky. The funeral for Private Machcinski was Saturday
morning in Toledo.
Investigators have not released details about what led to the
deaths but criminal charges of aggravated arson and aggravated
murder were filed against the owner of the building,
Ray Abou-Arab, 61, on Friday, pending
arraignment on Feb. 3rd in Toledo Municipal Court.