Manlius Fire Department honors fallen firefighters killed in blaze

A decade after a fatal fire claimed the life of two firefighters, the Manlius Fire Department honored their fallen brothers with a special ceremony.

On March 7th 2002, fire crews battled a fierce fire on Sweet Road in Pompey.

Flames quickly grew out of control as calls came over the emergency radio telling firefighters to evacuate the structure. But two were trapped inside and the floor collapsed underneath them as they tried to battle the blaze.

41-year-old John "Gino" Ginochetti and 28-year-old Timothy "TJ" Lynch didn't make it out alive.

"It's important for us to always remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice," said Manlius Fire Chief Paul Whorral. "The firefighters saying is you never forget."

True to that promise, ten years later, Gino and TJ are far from forgotten. The tragedy gripped the entire community. An investigation into the response changed protocols for fire commanders.

Local firefighters are still healing from the pain, which they say is still too fresh.

Wednesday night, outside the Manlius Fire Hall on Stickley Drive, two wreaths were laid out in honor of the men who laid their lives on the line. The Chief gave a somber salute to his fallen firefighters as taps played in the background.

"You drive by that house, it's all redone now," said Chief Whorral. "It doesn't change it, you can still see it."

A tragic night forever burned in their memory. The Manlius Fire Department plans to build a permanent memorial in front of the fire house, a gesture to show they will never forget.