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Mohawk Valley

West Webster Firefighters Heading to Owego

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: West Webster Firefighters Heading to Owego
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One month to the day after two West Webster firefighters were gunned down in an early-morning ambush, the West Webster Fire Department is planning to attend the funeral of another fallen firefighter.

It's just another shining example of the brotherhood, and the sense of family and camaraderie that all firefighters feel toward one another, no matter where they're located.

It hasn't even been a week since Fire Captain Matthew Porcari of the Owego Fire Department was killed. He fell through the unstable floor of a burning house in Owego.

In Tioga County, the pain is still very raw in that fire department and community. Here in West Webster near Rochester, firefighters feel that pain too.

Of course, exactly one month ago Thursday, two West Webster firefighters were gunned down on Lake Road. And the West Webster Fire Department will be sending their contingent of firefighters to stand guard at the funeral in Central New York for Matthew Porcari this Sunday.

Fire department spokesman Al Sienkiewicz says it's something the department would normally do, but after what happened here in West Webster, there is an added significance.

"We've been the recipients of all the support for the last three to four weeks, and I guess you have to experience it, you have to go through it, to truly appreciate it," Sienkiewicz said. "And now we know, truly, what they're going through down there. Whatever we can do to try to ease that – we'll be there."

The West Webster Fire Department has been told that the late Captain Matthew Porcari coordinated the effort for the Owego Fire Department when they sent firefighters here to support West Webster when Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka were laid to rest.

That connection is just another addition to this story of the love and brotherhood that all firefighters feel towards one another, only strengthened in times of tragedy.

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