Man accused in deaths of 2 firefighters faces judge - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Man accused in deaths of 2 firefighters faces judge

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TOLEDO, Ohio -

Toledo firefighters filled the courtroom Tuesday as the man accused of killing two of their colleagues faced a judge.

 

Privates Stephen Machcinski and Jamie Dickman both died while fighting a fire at an apartment building on Magnolia Street last month.

On Tuesday, the owner of that building was back in court, where he is charged with aggravated murder and arson.

Ray Abou-Arab, 61, faces over a dozen charges, all stemming from the fire that left several people homeless in addition to two Toledo firefighters dead.

The judge ordered a continuance in the case. Abou-Arab's next court date is scheduled for February 25.

Toledo Fire Chief Luis Santiago says the process may be long and painful, but the road will eventually lead to justice.

"We all believe in the system. We all realize the country we live in and the criminal justice system is the best in the world," he says. "We're just going to let the system work, and we're confident it will."

Until then, the chief says the fire department will focus on its number one mission: protecting lives and property in Toledo. He says it's the best way to honor the lives of Machinski and Dickman.

"We'll continue doing that," he says. "In many ways, that's therapeutic and gets us focused on what we're here to do. Our two brothers that we lost wouldn't want it any other way."

Prosecutors tell 13abc Abou-Arab will likely face the death penalty. His bond stands at $5.85 million.

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