Four years later, former residents of Magnolia St. apartment hold vigil for fallen firefighters

Four years later, former residents of Magnolia St. apartment hold vigil for fallen firefighters
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Three former neighbors, now best friends.

Connected by tragedy.

Friday night they stood on the spot where their once lived haunted by a horrible day in their lives.

All are former residents of the apartment building on Magnolia Street in North Toledo where firefighters Jamie Dickman and Steve Machcinski died January 26th, 2014 while trying to bring flames under control.

Roses and candles were brought to the vigil as well as pictures of the fallen firefighters.

"Just paying tribute to two firemen who lost their lives trying to save our lives. It was a senseless act and the reason why they died" says Tracy Bishop.

Senseless because the fire was intentionally set on that cold snowy Sunday afternoon.

Residents in the burning building left with only the clothes they wore, losing everything they owned, even pets.

The arsonist, Ray Abou Arab, owned the building.

He's now serving a twenty year sentence for involuntary manslaughter.

"I think it's pitiful. I never believed in a million years if I wouldn't have known for sure it was him," said Vanita Cravens.

The building was torn down.

It's now a vacant lot, a lot that will bring Tracy, Vanita and Patty Rollins back every year on this date.

"It's something that I wouldn't want to relive. It goes through my mind every day. To come here and drive by here. Memories are sure to come up every day," said Patty.

Memories of two heroic Toledo firefighters the three women never knew.

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