Fallen Ohio firefighters mourned via social media

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TOLEDO (AP) -- Mourners are taking to social media to pay tribute to two Toledo firefighters killed while fighting a weekend apartment blaze.

Thousands of condolence messages from all over the country have been posted on various Facebook tribute pages, and a page has been created for those who would like to take prepared meals this week to colleagues of the fallen firefighters. The (Toledo) Blade (http://bit.ly/1gmsFKL) reported that flags around the city have been lowered to half-staff, and the message "Gone But Not Forgotten" is flashing on two dozen digital billboards in the region.

Meanwhile, Masses in celebration of the firefighters' lives are planned for 5:30 p.m. today and 10 a.m. Sunday in the city's historic Church of St. Patrick.

Firefighters found Stephen Machcinski, 42, and James Dickman, 31, inside the burning building, carried them out on stretchers and tried unsuccessfully to save them. Autopsy reports are pending.

Investigators will take their time trying to figure out what happened and are talking to everyone who was at the scene.

Dickman was on the job for six months and had previously been with the Perkins Township fire department near Sandusky. Machcinski had been a firefighter for 16 years. They worked together at the same Toledo firehouse.

A Web camera trained on the National Fallen Firefighters' Memorial in Emmitsburg, Md., showed flags whipping at half-staff on Monday. Flags will remain lowered there and in Toledo for three days.

Toledo Fire Chief Luis Santiago acknowledged people may want to give money but warned potential donors to be careful to avoid scams. He suggested donations to the Toledo Fire and Rescue Foundation.

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Information from: The Blade, http://www.toledoblade.com/

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