West Webster Pauses to Remember its Heroes

The West Webster community paused to remember the sacrifices of its fallen firefighters Sunday.

A memorial featuring a bronze sculpture of a kneeling firefighter was dedicated at the West Webster firehouse.

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The names of four firefighters engraved on the memorial include two killed in an ambush at a house fire last Christmas Eve as well as two others who died  while serving their community.

On Tuesday -- the first anniversary of the deaths of Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka -- the family will hold a private gathering at the scene of the ambush from 5:30 to 6 a.m.

Following that, members of the West Webster Fire Department and the emergency personnel who responded to the scene will hold a candlelight vigil, WHEC reported.

While both of those remembrances are not open to the public, residents are invited to visit the memorial from 8-10 a.m.

Chiapperini and Kaczowka were shot and killed early last Christmas Eve morning when they arrived at a house fire. Others were injured during the incident.

“Over the past few months there have been memorial celebrations at the national and state levels. Now we stand proud to have our own memorial on the grounds of our firehouse,” said Ted Scardino, who was injured in the Christmas Eve ambush.

The other names on the monument include David J. Clapp, who was killed in 1986 in a car crash while responding to a fire call and William C. Bostian, who died of a heart attack in 2005 after answering four fire calls.