December 24. A time to celebrate the holiday season for many. 

But for the West Webster Fire Department, it’s Christmas Eve has become more of a haunting memory. 

“It’s not going to go away,” said Al Sienkiewicz with the West Webster Fire Department. “I mean, I honestly don’t believe time heals. Time makes the details fuzzy.” 

Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka, members of the West Webster Fire Department lost their lives on December 24, 2012 after responding to a house fire on 191 Lake Road, that turned into an ambush by William Spangler. 

Two other firemen, Joseph Hofstetter and Ted Scardino, were injured, but survived.

“It’s not a safe job. It never has been and it won’t be. This was so far outside the spectrum of what we’re expected to face,” he said.

Sienkiewicz says Chip and Tomasz, nicknames given by their fellow firemen, have not been forgotten, nor will they be.

He added that the department has provided more situational awareness training, in hopes that the horrible incident won’t be repeated. 

“One extreme is yes, It’s the five year anniversary and we are still moving forward and will remember Chip and Tomasz,” said Sienkiewicz. “The other extreme is that two nights ago one of our members said, five years? It’s been five minutes.”

Signs honoring the late firemen have been put up by the Badge of Honor society, across from where the men lost their lives. 

A tragedy that Sienkiewicz says will always be remembered. 

There will be a memorial service where the two firemen lost their lives at 191 Lake Road on Sunday around 5:30 a.m. 

Anyone is welcome to attend.