- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - A veteran firefighter and a rookie comrade killed in an apartment blaze faced rapidly deteriorating conditions once inside the building, Toledo’s fire chief said Monday.

Radio calls from inside indicated that the fire Sunday afternoon was getting worse quickly, said Fire Chief Luis Santiago.

Firefighters found Stephen Machcinski, 42, and James Dickman, 31, inside the building, carried them out on stretchers and then tried unsuccessfully to save them, he said. Autopsies were scheduled for Monday.

Investigators will take their time trying to figure out what happened and have not yet talked to everyone who was at the scene, Santiago said. He did not release any other details about the fire or where the two firefighters were found in the building.

“We have as many questions as you do today,” Mayor D. Michael Collins said at a news conference. The mayor said the city lost two dedicated public servants and asked for prayers.

No one else was seriously injured in the blaze at the six-unit apartment building near downtown.

Dickman was on the job only six months and had previously been with the Perkins Township fire department near Sandusky. Machcinski, who was single, had been a firefighter for 16 years. They worked together at the same Toledo firehouse.

Dickman was married with a 3-year-old daughter and a 1-month-old son, said Santiago, who wore a black ribbon across his badge.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich asked that flags at all public buildings in the Toledo area be lowered to half-staff.

It had not been determined yet whether there will be a public memorial service.

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