Judge Orders Toledo Cops to Protect Building Where FFs Died

The detail is to make sure evidence can be gathered in the case.


Feb. 06--A judge has ordered the Toledo Police Department to keep watch over the building where two firefighters died until Friday morning.

Toledo Municipal Court Visiting Judge Donald Petroff said Wednesday the round-the-clock protection must continue until Friday at 9 a.m. What happens then is unclear.

Police Sgt. Joe Heffernan said a two-man unit has been posted at 528 Magnolia St. since Pvt. Stephen Machcinski and Pvt. James Dickman were carried from the burning two-story apartment building on Jan. 26.

The building's owner, Ray Abou-Arab, 61, is charged with two counts of aggravated arson and two counts of aggravated murder. He remains in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $5 million bond. He did not appear at the Wednesday hearing in Toledo Municipal Court.

His defense attorney, James MacHarg, requested the scene remain protected so his team can gather evidence in the case against their client.

The police crews that remain at the scene are considered "out of service" and are not being dispatched to calls during their shifts, Sergeant Heffernan said. The protection detail is to "make sure there's no scene contamination," he said.

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