Previous coverage on the murders of two West Webster Firefighters on The Fire Critic here. The links and information below cover most of the coverage of the incident. For information on the killer who took his own life, you will find it in the links. I don’t feel the need to share it here.
Firefighters Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczówka were killed while arriving at a house fire in West Webster, NY yesterday. Firefighters Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter were also shot in the incident. Off-duty Greece police officer John Ritter, was also injured by shrapnel in the attacks.
Many of the videos related to the incident including audio from the scene is below in this article. I encourage all fire, police, and EMS personnel to take a listen to the chilling yet courageous audio from the scene. Dave Statter said it best when he dubbed it “Extreme Courage Under Fire”.
I will share the arrangements as they are available. Be sure to check out WestWebsterFD.org for official notifications from the department.
Lt. Michael Chiapperini, 43, had been named Firefighter of the Year just two weeks ago, and he led the fire department’s Explorer program for young people interested in becoming firefighters. He had recently taken vacation time to help recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported. He also was the public information officer for the Webster Police Department. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son, who also worked with the fire department.
Tomasz Kaczówka, 19, was a 911 dispatcher for Monroe County. He also was a member of the Explorers group that Chiapperini advised, had worked at a fast-food restaurant and had been a member of the fire department for about a year. One of three brothers, he was studying at Monroe County Community College. On his Facebook page, he said he could speak Polish and German.
In addition to our Brothers who died, three men were injured in the attacks as well including two firefighters and an off-duty police officer.
The two wounded firefighters, Joseph Hofstetter and Theodore Scardino, were in guarded condition in the intensive care unit at Strong Memorial Hospital, authorities said. Both were awake and alert and are expected to recover.
Hofstetter, also a full-timer with the Rochester Fire Department, was hit once in the pelvis, and the bullet lodged in his spine, authorities said. Scardino was hit in the chest and knee.
Off-duty Greece police officer John Ritter, was also injured by shrapnel.
The horrific event s this Christmas Eve has taxed the members of the West Webster Fire Department and entire Monroe County fire service community. It is events like this that bring us closer together as a fire service community dedicated to the preservation of life and property. As our department begins the healing process we ask for the community’s indulgence and prayers. Your expressions of love, concern and well-being for the family members of our deceased brothers is gratefully acknowledged. As we move forward in the coming days we look to the community for strength and guidance to carry on our mission.
For anyone inquiring the West Webster Fire Department has not established any donation or fundraising for our lost loved ones and their families at this time. If in the future there is any information on these we will put it on the website.
More complete coverage: