Later this week, first responders and others in the community will mark the 10th anniversary of the ambush in West Webster that killed two firefighters responding to a fire on Lake Road.
On Christmas Eve 2012, authorities announced that William Spengler set fire to his house in an attempt to lure firefighters into his home, shot the firefighter, and killed Lieutenant Mike Ciapellini and Tomasz Kachowka.
Two other firefighters and a police officer were injured in the ambush. Spengler’s sister was also killed that day. Spengler later took his own life.
Al Sienkiewicz is a spokesman for the West Webster Fire Department.
He said he could never forget what happened that day.
“For the members who have gone through it, it’s vivid, at least in my mind, as if it happened yesterday,” Sienkiewicz said. The reason for the memories they have is more educational on their part.”
Sienkiewicz said the 2012 ambush affected how firefighters and other emergency personnel respond to such situations.
“For years, the fire brigade was seen as the people who would come to your aid. Just thinking about things we’ve taken for granted for years has put a lot of people back,” Sienkiewicz said.
West Webster Fire Station is Fire Station #1 on Gravel Road and primarily honors those who lost their lives in one of the fire station’s rooms.
The memorial includes photographs and other mementos honoring those who lost their lives ten years ago.
This week’s schedule includes activities that are open to all First Responder Agencies on Thursday, December 22nd from 12:00pm to 8:00pm.
From 12:00pm to 8:00pm on Friday, December 23, the station will be open for visits by the public, media and first responders.
On Saturday, December 24th, the station will be open to the public, media and first responders from 7am to 10am.
A memorial service will also be held on Saturday, December 24 at 6:45 am at the West Webster Firehouse Memorial behind the building at 1051 Gravel Road.
The West Webster Fire Department is asking anyone attending an event at Station #1 to leave the front apron open for the fire department if they need to park there as part of their firefighting efforts. , asking to park at the rear of the station.