Former residents hold vigil for fallen heroes one year later

Former residents hold vigil for fallen heroes one year later

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - It's been a year since the apartment fire on Magnolia Street in north Toledo took the lives of Toledo firefighters Stephen Machcinski and James Dickman.

Monday, the former residents of that apartment building held a public vigil to remember the men who gave their lives trying to save their home.

Minutes into the vigil Dickman's two sisters and their aunt arrived with firefighters from Station 3, where the heroes were based out of. The neighborhood block watch leader gave them red roses.

"As soon as I found out I decided that I just wanted to at least come down and thank them... This year it is much more raw than it was last year," said Dickman's sister Libby Cheney.

"I knew Jamie shortly. He came here in September and I knew him and we passed out candy for Trunk or Treat at Halloween time, off the fire truck, him and Steve, and he was just a likable guy," said block watch leader Sy Kreais.

One of the residents, Tracy Bishop, organized the vigil and invited a minister to lead in prayer. They are also asked anyone to share their own thoughts.

Tracy says not a day goes by that she doesn't think of firefighters Stephen Machcinski and Jamie Dickman. She says she is grateful to both men for what they did that day to try and save her home.

Those at the vigil want the firefighters to be remembered for their sacrifices and the family members that were left behind.

"That's why I'm here today, to honor them. Honor their lives so no one forgets them, because they did such a heroic thing that day for someone that did such a selfish thing," said Tracy.

"So for them to continue to honor Jamie and Steve is something tremendous. It's an honor," said Libby.

Some left roses at the scene. Jamie's sisters and aunt, took them home with them.

"They were forever roses so I told them they would last forever and his sister said, 'I'll make sure of it.' I said, 'Jamie may be gone but he will never be forgotten,'" said Sy.

Tracy says she will never forget what happened at her former home that day and wants to put together a vigil every year to honor the men that lost their lives.

"I just want them to know they will always be remembered by me and I will always, always have much gratitude for them," said Tracy.

Libby told the crowd the firefighters died doing what they loved and she was grateful all the residents made it out okay.

Follow Toledo News Now:

Copyright 2015 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.