Hill District community remembers 2 firefighters killed fighting church fire

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PITTSBURGH - Two firefighters killed in the line of duty 10 years ago were remembered Sunday in the Hill District.

Richard Stefanakis and Charles Brace were killed while battling flames that destroyed Ebenezer Baptist Church on March 16, 2004.

Community members gathered at the new church on Wylie Avenue Sunday to show their continued support for the families of both men.

“It helps that people still care, that I know people care,” said Stephanie Stefanakis, Richard Stefanakis' wife.

Twenty-nine other firefighters were injured in the five-alarm blaze.

Fire investigators said a backdraft caused an explosion that overwhelmed some of the crew.