Mourners Gather To Say Goodbye to Webster Firefighter

6:40 PM, Dec 31, 2012   |    comments
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ROCHESTER, NY-- Tomasz Kaczowka was remembered Monday during a ceremony that attracted thousands.

Kaczowka, 19, was one of two killed in the Christmas Eve shootings in Webster, when a gunman set his house ablaze and fired on responding firefighters.

Funeral services were held at St. Stanislaus Church.

Thousands from across the country turned out Sunday for Mike Chiapperini's funeral. Chiapperini was also killed that day.

Kaczowka, the youngest firefighter in the department and close friend of Chiapperini, was on duty that morning to help relieve older members of the West Webster Fire Department, so those with families could have the holiday off.

He had been a firefighter for just under a year, after spending three years in the department's Explorer program for adolescents interested in the program. He also worked as a 911 dispatcher.

His obituary described him: "Whether it was through working the overnight shift as an emergency dispatch operator for the City of Rochester, or waking up at all hours of the night to attend various emergencies, this selfless young man devoted every spare ounce of his effort and courage to help those who needed it, right to the end.

Everyone's 'little brother' died doing what he loved."

Chiapperini was laid to rest yesterday.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

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