Capt. Robin Broxterman, left, and Firefighter Brian Schira, right
Photo credit: Colerain Township Fire Department
COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio --
A candlelight vigil will be held Monday for the two firefighters who lost their lives battling a house fire in Colerain Township Friday morning.
Officials identified the firefighters as Capt. Robin Broxterman, 37, a 17-year veteran who was the first woman in department history to attain the rank of captain, and Brian Schira, 29, who joined the department in November after serving as a Delhi Township firefighter.
Investigation Continues Into Fire That Killed Two Firefighters
Monday's vigil will begin at 8 p.m. at the Colerain High School Cardinal Stadium. Officials said the public is invited and encouraged to attend.
Several people are scheduled to speak including Bruce Smith, Colerain Fire Chief, The Honorable Jeff Ritter, Colerain Township Trustee and Dr. David Faust, President of Cincinnati Christian University.
Funeral arrangments for both have also been announced.
Visitation for both Broxterman and Schira will be from 3-8 p.m. Tuesday at Gwen Mooney Funeral Home on the grounds of the Spring Grove Cemetary on Spring Grove Avenue.
The funeral for both firefighters will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Saint Peter and Chains Cathedral on 8th Street downtown.
A processional will then lead from the cathedral through Colerain Twp. and then to Spring Grove Cemetary for burial.
An alarm notified firefighters of the blaze at a home in the 5700 block of Squirrels Nest Court around 6:10 a.m., and authorities said the homeowner called shortly afterward.
Firefighters found heavy fire when they arrived, and two members of the first arriving Colerain Township fire crew went inside to search for occupants and discover the source of the flames.
The entry crew lost radio contact with the department command shortly after they entered the house, and authorities said firefighters issued a second alarm and called for assistance from nearby Fairfield.
Firefighters discovered a fire hose inside the home without anyone near it, and authorities said the bodies of two firefighters were discovered in the basement around 7:10 a.m.
Broxterman is survived by two daughters, 10-year-old Sierra and 8-year-old Courtney, a fianc?? who is a Green Township firefighter and her parents, and Schira is survived by his parents and two brothers.
Both of Broxterman's parents had previously been Green Township firefighters.
Department spokesman Capt. Steve Conn said that the home's floor collapsed, sending both firefighters into the basement, and they both were covered in rubble when they were discovered.
Their bodies were removed from the wreckage and taken to waiting ambulances, and Conn said the last time Colerain Township firefighters died in the line of duty was 1977.
Two residents escaped without injury before firefighters arrived, authorities said.
State fire marshalls collected evidence at the home Friday and will send everything off to a lab to be tested. Officials said it may take up to two weeks to get results back. The cause of the fire will not be released until testing is complete.
Officials said it may take over a year to complete the entire investigation into the deadly fire.
Many tri-state firefighters have offered their assistance to the Colerain department. One Cincinnati Fire district chief is assisting with his knowledge after having experienced a fatal fire five years ago when Firefighter Oscar Armstrong died in the line of duty.
Donations to help pay for funeral costs can be made to any Kemba Credit Union or Greater Cincinnati Firefighters Credit Union office, and also at the Colerain Township or Delhi Township fire departments.
Donations Pour In For Two Fallen Firefighters
Contributions can be sent in care of the Colerain Township Firefighters Memorial Fund to Kemba Credit Union, PO Box 14090, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45050.
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Personnel needing information should call the fire department at 513-825-6143, or visit the COLERAIN TOWNSHIP DEPARTMENT OF FIRE Web site for full funeral information including lodging locations.