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Fallen Buffalo Firefighters remembered 10 years later with memorial service

Mother: "He would probably do it again"
Posted at 10:23 PM, Aug 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-25 09:50:38-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Angie Huesinger's biggest fear was that her son, Jonathan Croom, would be forgotten.

"It's been ten years. Sometimes people forget, time goes by, you move on with your life... And for me, to have this type of a gathering after ten years, sincerely with the fire department, with the community... it means everything," Huesinger said.

It's been ten years since two Buffalo firefighters died battling a fire at a deli. Family, friends and firefighters gathered for a memorial service for Lieutenant Charles 'Chip' McCarthy and Jonathan Croom.

"The family of Jonathan Croom and Chip McCarthy, they really are determined. They're passionate about celebrating their lives," Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo said.

Croom's presence lines Engine 34 with a bench made in his honor and his locker, where his name still remains.

"Not only has the fire department lost two good fire fighters, but the families that have been left behind, we're scarred for life," Huesinger said.

"You know there's a bond. We're all brothers and sisters, extended families. It's a family. And when a tradgedy like this occurs, we wrap our arms around the family and make sure they're taken care of," said Renaldo.

Heusinger said it's a strange question to get asked if she is proud.

"For him to do what he did that day, I had to sit back and I had to say, you know what? I'm not surprised that he did that. Absolutely I am proud of him," Heusinger said.

She said after his death her son has been called a hero, but he had been doing those kinds of things his whole life.

"I really believe, as hard as it is to say, that faced with that again, he would probably do it again," Heusinger said.