Ohio service for 2nd firefighter killed in blaze


TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- A private funeral service was held Saturday for the second of two firefighters killed in an apartment building fire allegedly set by the owner.

Hundreds of people watched the procession after the service for Toledo firefighter Stephen Machcinski, 42.

His casket was covered by an American flag and was carried on a fire truck.

According to The (Toledo) Blade (bit.ly/1ac2PGg), the bells tolled at Grace Lutheran Church as the procession passed.

The procession through the city included dozens of vehicles, including fire trucks, ambulances, police vehicles, and private cars.

Scores of Toledo firefighters in dress blue uniforms lined the roadway for the procession.

The funeral for rookie firefighter James Dickman, 31, was held Friday in Sandusky.

Investigators charged Ray Abou-Arab, 61, with two counts each of aggravated murder and arson in the fire.

He was held at the Lucas County jail to await a court hearing Monday. No attorney was listed for him in the court docket Saturday.

Radio calls from the scene of the fire indicated that the pair faced rapidly deteriorating conditions once inside the six-unit apartment building. Firefighters found them inside, carried them out and tried unsuccessfully to save them.

Autopsies showed that Machcinski and Dickman died from burns and carbon monoxide. No one else was seriously injured in the blaze.

Machcinski, who was single, had been a firefighter for 16 years.

Dickman had been on the job for six months and was previously with the Perkins Township fire department near Sandusky. He was married with a 3-year-old daughter and a 1-month-old son.

Friends said Dickman joined the Toledo department because it was his dream to work with a big city department.

"He lived every day to learn as much as he could to improve our profession and serve the community the best he could," Keith Wohlever, Perkins Township fire chief, said at the Dickman service.

"The best way to honor him now is to never be complacent."


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

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