UB Students Pay Tribute In Tragic Loss

September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 17, 2010 at 5:37 PM EDT

September 27, 2013 Updated Apr 17, 2010 at 5:37 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) You usually don't see a group of architecture student's hanging out at the local fire station. But after learning about two firefighter deaths in their own backyards, they decided to make their next project personal.
"Once we heard about McCarthy and Croom passing away in the fire that really touched us," said UB student Christopher Brandt.
34-year-old Jonathan Croom and 45-year-old Lieutenant Charles McCarthy were killed while fighting a fire at a deli on Genesee Street last August.

"In every structure that we go in in the city of Buffalo there are inherent dangers that we can't foresee...the men and women in this department on a daily basis put their lives on the line to try and make a difference in the lives of the residents of this community," said Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield.

The University of Buffalo students pledged to create a permanent tribute to the men, which they unveiled today at a memorial ceremony.
"It's extremely durable we had at least six people sitting on it at one time just to mess around you know," said Joshua Gardner one of the student designers.

It's made of steel tubes and recycled fire hoses donated by one student's father who is a Buffalo firefighter. He gave us a couple hundred foot length of hose so we had to disassemble it, pull the center rubber part out and then we kind of washed the rest of the hose about five times just to get it clean enough to really use," said Gardner.
It took ten students three weeks to build. But it's something they hope friends and family can cherish for a lifetime.

Croom's mother, Angie Heusinger said," This is going to last a long long time and I think that's important because I do worry about people forgetting and I think...I know that he's not going to be forgotten."
Federal investigators have completed their investigation of the fire and made recommendations to the department to help prevent an incident like this from happening in the future. However, the commissioner could not comment on specific details.