Firefighters Who Survived Christmas Eve Ambush “Humbled”

The two firefighters who survived a Christmas Eve ambush that killed two of their colleagues are "humbled and a bit overwhelmed" by support from and beyond their upstate New York community, they said Thursday. Joseph Hofstetter and Theodore Scardino were upgraded to satisfactory condition at the Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester a day earlier. They also said Thursday that their "thoughts and prayers" were with the families of Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka, both killed Christmas Eve in the shooting. All four were shot by William Spengler as they responded to a raging fire at his home. Spengler, who had served prison time for killing his own grandmother in 1980, had set fire to his own home and six others to lure emergency responders. Heavily armed with an assault rifle and other weapons, Spengler killed himself after a shootout with an off-duty police officer who happened to be passing by. "He was equipped to go to war," the local police chief said of Spengler. Police are still investigating human remains found at Spengler's home, believed to be those of his missing sister.

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