Toledo Fire Chief of community generosity: “It brings you to you - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toledo Fire Chief of community generosity: “It brings you to your knees”

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Toledo, OH - "They have fed us until we can't eat anymore," said Toledo Fire Chief Luis Santiago on Thursday evening at the Last Alarm Memorial Service as he thanked the community for the countless acts of kindness and generosity this past week toward his grieving firefighters.

13abc's Christine Long has more on how the outpouring of support is still going strong Friday.

As the Chief said, "Toledo Strong … that's real."

It's evident in how much Toledoans love to cook.

Feed Our Firefighters has been an organized movement.

People have been delivering warm meals to firefighters at every single fire station across the city since Monday.

Jan Rossler of East Toledo is making chicken on Friday for the firefighters at Station 6.

Rossler signed up for the shift on PerfectPotluck.com on Monday, the day after two Toledo firefighters died while battling an apartment fire on Magnolia off of Huron.

"I just felt this is something I could do," says Rossler. "I can't do a lot of different things to help, but I can cook!"

Michelle Weber's family is heading out to deliver cheesy potatoes and chocolate chip cookies to the hardworking men and women at Fire Station 24.

"I want to show them that these are the real heroes, not the pro-athletes or movie stars," says Weber.  "It's the firefighters, the police officers that do that do this every day and risk their lives."

"That's very humbling," says Chief Santiago. "It brings you to your knees."

At Thursday's Last Alarm Memorial Service honoring Private Stephen Machcinski and Private James Dickman, Fire Chief Luis Santiago thanked the hundreds of people like Weber and Rossler, plus all of the restaurants, who volunteered in the massive effort to offer condolences through comfort food.

 "When they say Toledo Strong, that's no lie. That's real," says Chief Santiago. "And it's a great thing to be a part of."

Weber and Rossler say the meals are a small piece of gratitude.

"I sat there last night and tears would just run all the time," says Rossler. "I feel so, so bad for Steve's family and for Jamie's family."

"I wish there was more I could do as a family, as a community, but just to let them know that we're here for them right now," says Weber. "And if they ever need anything, just let us know."

According to the Perfect Potluck web site, people are signed up for meal shifts for at least one more week.  But ask anyone, they plan to make this a regular part of their life … no shift necessary.

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