Neighbors organize to clean up memorial dedicated to West Webster firemen

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Community members gathered on Sunday to help clean up a memorial that was built in honor of two West Webster firefighters shot and killed a decade ago.

Michael Chiapperini 43, and Tomasz Kaczowka 19, were shot as they were stepping out of their fire trucks on Christmas Eve in 2012 after a man intentionally set his house on fire.

Using Facebook to organize Sunday’s clean up effort, David Lippa said that the murders of both firemen is a day they will always remember.

“From that day on, everybody talked about never forgetting, and my thing is I never forgot. And, I think it’s us as a community that need to take care of our first responders so that we never forget.”

Lippa organized a group to spend the morning using lawn equipment to make the memorial look pristine.

“The grass was overgrown here on Lake Road, and I thought we should take our time to come together as a community, and take our time to make it look beautiful,” Lippa said.

He said that he even received help from organizations and businesses in the community.

“Step 22’s advocate reached out to Lowe’s in Webster. They donated solar lights, and the flag pole for this memorial. Thomas Landscape had donated a tree that’s dedicated to the firemen, which is along the berm,” Lippa said.

It’s a clean up effort Lippa plans on organizing again to salute the service of first responders and their sacrifice.

“This is the second year we’ve done this, and we had a good turn out last year, and but you just never know. And, you just put it out on Facebook and here we are with about 20 people helping out. To cut down the grass, put up a flag pole, and make it look beautiful again,” Lippa said.

The memorial is located at 203 Lake Road in Webster.