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Two fallen firefighters honored with new memorial garden

Five years ago, Ivan Flanscha and Zach Anthony were killed while responding to a fire at the Old Weaver Organ and Piano building in York.

YORK, Pa. — On the 5th anniversary of their deaths, friends, family, and colleagues came together to remember the service of local firefighters Ivan Flanscha and Zach Anthony.

Ivan and Zach were responding to a fire at the Old Weaver Organ and Piano building on North Front Street in downtown York. The building collapsed on them while fighting the fire.

“He was a giver. So, we’re just honored to have had him for 50 years," said Judy Flanscha, the mother of Ivan.

“He died doing what he loved to do and that is helping his community," said Karen Anthony, the mother of Zach.

The parents of Zach and Ivan were on hand to unveil the new memorial garden commemorating their service to the City of York. Both parents remember their sons for their dedication to helping others in the community.

“[Zach] was always late because he would stop on the side of the road to help someone who was struggling, like changing a tire," said Anthony. "Anybody that needed help, he’d stop and help. And that’s how he was as a firefighter, he was helpful.”

“He wanted to serve his community and make a difference, that was in his heart," said Flanscha. "My husband was a police officer and Ivan wanted to do something to serve the community.”

The process to build and complete the new memorial garden took around three years and was led by members of the community.

“They showed their support by building this garden for the memory of Zach and Ivan," said William Sleeger, fire chief of the York City Fire Department.

Chief Sleeger says Zach and Ivan were always fun to be around and were two guys everyone wanted to work with.

“Ivan was a levelheaded guy and always fun to be with," said Chief Sleeger. "Zach was always telling stories, and he was a jokester.”

The memory of Zach and Ivan will live on, thanks to the community coming together for the garden.

“Everyone recognizes the efforts and appreciates the sacrifice those two guys and other members do for the community," said Chief Sleeger.

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