Rapid deterioration cited in fire that killed Toledo firefighters

The fatalities were the first in an active blaze since 1981.

Fire investigators cited rapid deterioration at a north Toledo fire Sunday that killed two firefighters.

Private Stephen Machcinski and Private James Dickman died while battling a structure fire at 528 Magnolia St., according to Toledo Fire Department Chief Luis Santiago.

"The two firefighters we lost were battling that fire and there were rapid changes of the conditions that they were involved in," said Chief Santiago.

He said investigators have not reached any conclusions about the origin of the blaze. "The cause of that deterioration we are still investigating and as far as the actual cause we don't have that either," Chief Santiago said.

The fatalities were the first in an active blaze since 1981.

Private Machcinski was appointed to the department on March 20, 1998. Private Dickman was appointed in September of last year.

Lance Wehrle lives a half block away from the building that caught fire on Sunday.

"I'm certainly sad that a couple of firemen got killed, and it's a surprise because it was such a small building," Mr. Wehrle said.

Autopsy reports were issued at Lucas County Coroner's Office.