Toledo Fire Chief: “We’re all hurting” - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toledo Fire Chief: “We’re all hurting”

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More than five thousand people from all across the country are expected to pay tribute to two fallen Toledo firefighters on Thursday evening.

The Last Alarm Memorial Service will be open to the public from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Seagate Convention Centre.

"It'll be a great help to a lot of us that are feeling the pain," says Chief Luis Santiago. "It'll probably take our mind off some of the things we've been thinking for the last few days. And we'll be embracing and welcoming that support."

Chief Santiago says the families of the heroes who died on Sunday afternoon in the line of duty will be part of the tribute service.

13abc's Christine Long has more on the memorial, as well as new details in the investigation into how the fire started.

 "You're really going to be amazed and overwhelmed on what you're going to see on Thursday," says Chief Santiago as he announced Tuesday how his department is paying tribute through tradition in a public way to two fallen firefighters: 42-year-old Private Stephen Machcinski and 31-year-old Private James Dickman, known by friends as Jamie.

Machcinski was a Whitmer High School graduate who loved the Detroit Tigers.  He also enjoyed fishing and trick-or-treating on Halloween with his niece and nephew.

Dickman played both bass and electric guitar at his church in Sandusky.  He leaves behind a wife, a three-year-old daughter, and a one-month-old son.

 "We are truly expecting folks from literally all over the country and beyond from Canada to attend and help us pay proper respects," says Chief Santiago.

The Lucas County Coroner determined the two men died on Sunday afternoon from thermal burns and exposure to carbon monoxide while battling an apartment fire in North Toledo.

The scene at Magnolia and Huron remains surrounded in crime scene tape, guarded round-the-clock by Toledo police officers.

Investigators with the Toledo Fire Department, ATF, and FBI continue to work to find out what started the fire.

Chief Santiago says it's too early to tell if it could've been arson.

However, he expects the investigation will pick up speed as investigators begin to interview firefighters who were on the scene who may have seen or heard something that could help put the puzzle together.   

"It has been a delicate balance because they're hurting," says Chief Santiago. "We're all hurting."

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