(13-WHAM, Kelsie Smith)The cold did not stop thousands of people from waiting in long lines to attend calling hours for Mike Chiapperini and Tomacz Kaczowka.
From noon to three Saturday, first responders from across the country paid their respects to the West Webster firefighters gunned down on Christmas Eve. (calling hours were scheduled again from 6 to 9pm Saturday)
At least four-thousand people have made their way to
“I was not expecting this many people to come here,” said Rachel Luconte, a resident of Webster who stood in line at the calling hours, “I think it's great.”
“I wasn't expecting it either,” said Brittany Boulter, also a Webster resident waiting in line. “There's a lot more people then I thought there were going to be.”
Busloads of people pressed through the winter weather to pay their respects to the fallen.
“It's really part of the healing process for everybody,” said Mike McTighe, a firefighter from
To the brothers’ surprise while they reached out to the community, Webster gave back to them. Their hotel rooms and meals were donated.
“This is the first time I've seen community support like this,” said McTighe. "I really commend everybody.”
Out of town firefighters are staying at hotels throughout Webster in rooms that were donated to them by anonymous people.
The funeral for Mike Chiapperini is set for Noon on Sunday. You can listen to the service on WHAM 1180.