This from the Toledo Blade:

The final alarm rang tonight for two of Toledo’s bravest killed in the line of duty four days ago.

“May God rest their souls. We’ll take it from here brothers,” a fire dispatcher announced during a service in honor of Pvts. James Dickman and Stephen Machcinski — the two firefighters killed Sunday while searching for potentially trapped residents in a devastating North Toledo building fire.

More than 5,000 people packed the SeaGate Centre tonight for a two-hour funeral service in honor of the firefighters.

Ret. Toledo Assistant Fire Chief Robert Schwantzl read both men’s records before a bell was rung three times for each — a tradition for funerals of firefighters.

Tears filled the eyes of veteran firefighters and civilians alike as the two Toledo firefighters were eulogized repeatedly and as their families were presented with medals in honor of their sacrifices.

The families of Privates Dickman and Machcinski — sitting before their flag-covered caskets — accepted the International Association of Firefighters medal of honor.

Family members of the two men clutched each others’ hands as they entered the service and throughout the program.

Toledo Fire Battalion Chief Sally Glombowski, who was selected as a representative of the Dickman family, said the young firefighter loved his family fiercely and cared about people most of all.

Toledo Fire Chief Luis Santiago said he was struck how the Dickman and Machcinski families were concerned about the fire department’s well-being despite their own overwhelming grief and suffering.

“Stephen and Jamie may be gone, they have left, but they will always be part of our family,” he said.

Chief Santiago acknowledged the scores of firefighters from across the nation and Canada who traveled to Toledo for the service.

The somber ceremony was marked with pictures of the two fallen firefighters displayed while the St. Francis choir sang “On Eagles Wings.”

“There are no words that can express the sadness in our hearts,” Toledo Battalion Chief John Kaminski said before the thousands gathered.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) — one of several public officials addressing the families and people attending — said he struggled with what to say to honor the two firefighters.

The senator lauded the two men — recalling how Private Dickman’s two dreams were to marry his wife Jamie and also to become a Toledo firefighter.

After his remarks, Senator Brown and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) presented American flags to the Machcinski and Dickman families. Both flags were flown above the U.S Capitol Sunday.

“This [service] confirms what we have known all along about the brotherhood of firefighters and what we have learned about the people of Toledo – that they support the firefighters of Local 92,” said Doug Stern, a spokesman for the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters.

Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Tracy Smith was among 60 from that department who came to Toledo today for the service.

“There is an outpouring of support for the department that’s affected when something like this happens,” Chief Smith said. “It hits close to home for us since it is Ohio and we are all a tight-knit group.”

Tom Ryan, president of the Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2, echoed the same sentiment as many of the scores of other firefighters gathered to pay tribute to Privates Dickman and Machcinski.

“We are all family and when we lose one it is felt deeply by all of us,” Mr. Ryan said. “This is outstanding. We lost five of our own in recent years and we are just repaying by being here.”

This from Tom Clifton:

I know it's not Chicago but I figured I would send this in. I attended the visitation for one of the fallen firefighters in Toledo. The 1st picture is Engine 13 parked in front of the funeral home. As I was about to start my way back home to Chicago I caught a fire at 1202 Idaho in Toledo. I took a few photos of the scene. I arrived to some active fire but trying to park a car on a snow covered side street in Toledo I think is actually worse than Chicago. Tom Clifton


Toledo fire engine at funeral home

Tom Clifton photo

fire scene in Toledo

Tom Clifton photo

Toledo fire engine at fire scene

Tom Clifton photo

fire scene in Toledo

Tom Clifton photo

Toledo fire truck

Tom Clifton photo