Hundreds pay tribute to fallen Toledo firefighter

2/1/2014
BLADE STAFF
CTY-machcinski02p-downtown

Toledo Firefighters salute as the casket of Toledo Firefighter Stephen Machcinski passes by Station 5 in Downtown Toledo.

The Blade/Lori King

Toledo Firefighters salute as the casket of Toledo Firefighter Stephen Machcinski passes by Station 5 in Downtown Toledo.
Toledo Firefighters salute as the casket of Toledo Firefighter Stephen Machcinski passes by Station 5 in Downtown Toledo.

Hundreds of people met downtown today to pay tribute to fallen Toledo firefighter Stephen Machcinski.

Pvt. Machcinski, 42, and Pvt. James Dickman, 31, died last Sunday after becoming trapped in a burning two-story apartment building at 528 Magnolia St. in North Toledo.

The building's owner, Ray Abou-Arab, 61, was arrested Friday and charged with two counts each of aggravated murder and aggravated arson.

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RELATED: Apartment building owner arrested, charged in death of firefighters

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He remains in the Lucas County jail and is to be arraigned Monday morning in Toledo Municipal Court.

Today, after a private prayer service for Private Machcinski at Walker Funeral Home, a procession with dozens of vehicles – fire trucks, ambulances, police vehicles, and private cars – made its way through the city.

As the procession passed by Grace Lutheran Church, 4441 Monroe St., the bells began to play.

Downtown on Ontario Street, between Washington and Monroe streets, scores of Toledo firefighters in their dress blues lined the roadway for the procession.

A casket carrying Private Machcinski was aboard Engine 3.

As the engine, draped in black and purple bunting, turned onto Ontario from Monroe, the firefighters raised their right hands to offer a final salute. The procession ended at the Erie Street Market downtown for a private lunch.

Privates Machcinski and Dickman were members of the Engine 3 crew when they died.

Private Machcinski was a 15-year veteran of the department; Private Dickman had fewer than 6 months of service.