Today marks tragic anniversary of the loss of two Toledo firefighters

Published: Jan. 26, 2018 at 5:36 PM EST
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This is the fourth anniversary of one of the darkest days in the history of the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department. Privates Jamie Dickman and Stephen Machinski were killed fighting a blaze on Magnolia Street.

Ray Abou-Arab is now serving 20 years behind bars on two counts each of involuntary manslaughter and arson in connection with the deadly fire.

The fire department did not hold a memorial service today, but firefighters we spoke with say there's not a day that goes by that they don't think of their fallen brothers.They also work hard to make sure that the lessons of that day are never forgotten.

The pain of that day is still very close to the surface for so many, including Battalion Chief Sally Glombowski,"I felt like I was in a fog. I don't think it hit me that day, it hit me after."

Waves of grief still come and go for Chief Glombowski and others,"It's very painful still. I knew Jamie. I knew Steve, they were both terrific men."

Chief Glombowski is in charge of the training bureau for the department, and the lessons of that day are always on her mind,"I have their pictures in my office and I remember them every day. When I look at training programs and how to develop them, I remember those lessons because I don't want to forget what happened. You choose how you move forward, and we want to do that in a positive way."

Chief Glombowski had Jamie in a class she taught at the BGSU State Fire School, "He was very personable and a jokester, but he was very serious about his craft. He was an incredible guy."

What she remembers most about Steve is his kind and generous spirit. Others remember his talent in the kitchen. Jeffrey Koenigseker is the President of Toledo Firefighters Local 92, "Stevie loved to cook. If he wasn't cooking, he was more than happy to give you advice on how you should cook."

Koenigseker says that day was the worst tragedy of his 25-year career,"It's very difficult because above all else we miss them. It has not been easy, but it is slowly getting better."

And as times moves farther away from when they died, the memories of the two men are very much alive. "We have gone out of our way to make sure they are not forgotten. They are not forgotten by us and they won't be forgotten by the city of Toledo."