Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins at a press conference Monday said that the city has gone through one of the most "traumatic" and "gut-wrenching" experiences it has seen in years with the loss of two firefighters. Collins praised the bravery and dedication of Stephen Machcinski and James Dickman, who died fighting a fire on Magnolia Street in north Toledo on January 26.
Collins thanked the staff at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, where both Dickman and Machcinski were taken after the fire.
The mayor thanked local businesses and citizens for supporting the department in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Fire Chief Luis Santiago also thanked the community for their support, kind words and random acts of kindness in recent days.
Santiago also addressed what he called a "negative emotion" unleashed in the fire department following news that the owner of the building had been arrested on murder and arson charges in relation to the fire that killed Dickman and Machcinski.
"It doesn't get any more personal," said Santiago.
Santiago went on to stress the department's faith in the criminal justice system, and said it would support the process in any way possible.
Santiago and Collins refused to comment on the fire or the arrest of Ray Abou-Arab directly. Both said questions about the criminal proceedings or the investigation should be forwarded to the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office.