A pair of firefighters facing down an inferno at an apartment complex near downtown Toledo, Ohio, were killed Sunday, city officials said.
The Toledo Fire & Rescue Department identified the fallen firefighters as Private Stephen A. Machcinski, 42, a 16-year veteran, and Private James A. Dickman, 31, who had served less than six months.
"Everyone is just numb right now," Dan Desmond, a longtime firefighter, told the newspaper. He said he personally knew the two late firefighters, but couldn't talk about them.
The department plans to launch “a formal and detailed investigation” into “the fire as well as the cause and manner of the deaths of Private Machcinski and Private Dickman,” according to a statement released Sunday evening.
The fire department was expected to hold a news conference Sunday night to disclose additional information on the deadly blaze.
The firefighters were battling the blaze around 3:30 p.m. inside a six-unit apartment complex on Magnolia Street, near the Huron Market, according to NBC affiliate WNWO in Toledo. They “suffered serious injuries” while fighting the fire and were then pulled from the burning building by fellow firefighters and transported to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, where “they succumbed to their injuries,” the department said.
Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins was at the hospital on Sunday, along with members of the fire department — many of whom were still outfitted in their full gear, according to the station.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.