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Published: Wednesday, 2/5/2014

Scene of fatal fire to be protected by Toledo police until Friday

BLADE STAFF

A judge ordered the Toledo Police Department to keep watch over the building where two firefighters died until Friday morning.

Retired Judge Donald Petroff said the round-the-clock protection must continue until Friday at 9 a.m.

What happens then is unclear.

Police Sgt. Joe Heffernan said a two-man unit has been posted at 528 Magnolia St. since Pvt. Stephen Machcinski and Pvt. James Dickman were carried from the burning two-story apartment building on Jan. 26.

The building's owner, Ray Abou-Arab, 61, is charged with two counts of aggravated arson and two counts of aggravated murder. He remains in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $5 million bond.

He did not appear at the hearing today in Toledo Municipal Court.

His defense attorney requested the scene remain protected so his team can gather evidence in the case against their client.

The police crews that remain at the scene are considered “out of service” and are not being dispatched to calls during their shifts, Sergeant Heffernan said.

The protection detail is to “make sure there's no scene contamination,” the sergeant said.



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