TOLEDO, Ohio (WWJ/AP) -Two firefighters battling a blaze at an apartment complex near downtown Toledo have died.
42-year-old Stephen Machcinski and 31-year-old James Dickman were killed while fighting the apartment building blaze Sunday afternoon. The firefighters apparently became disoriented while at the scene.
“As far as what exactly what went on inside that building that is the big unanswered question right now,” said CBS News reporter Tim Miller. “The fire chief very upset, as you can imagine; very shaken.”
Machcinski was a 16-year veteran, while Dickman had been on the job for only a few months. It’s the first on-the-job fatality for Toledo’s fire department since 1981.
Toledo Fire Department Chief Luis Santiago said the fire department will fully investigate the blaze, which was reported around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Dr. Maneesha Pandey, a deputy coroner for Lucas County, told the Toledo Blade that autopsies are scheduled for Monday.
Ray Abouarab, the building’s owner, told the Blade that there were seven tenants in six apartments in the building on Magnolia Street near the Huron Market and all are believed to be OK.
Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins asked that flags be flown at half-staff throughout the city on Monday.