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Painting auctioned to benefit fallen York City firefighters' families

About a week after York City firefighters Zachary Anthony and Ivan Flanscha died in a building collapse, Michael Brothers and his wife passed the Laurel Firehouse.

“When we were going past, we saw the firemen outside the building, and they just looked so dejected and sad,” Brothers said.

Now, the York City native is helping to give back.

Michael Brothers, of Spring Garden, painted a picture of Laurel Firehouse, where fallen firefighters Ivan Flanscha and Zachary Anthony once worked. Proceeds from the sale of the painting will go to their families. Photo courtesy of Michael Brothers.

He and his wife, Cherie, ended up taking pictures of the fire house with the flag at half staff. About a month ago, Brothers, of Spring Garden Township, painted a picture of the fire house from that day.

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Brothers is now auctioning off the watercolor painting, which depicts two doves "ascending to Heaven" to represent Anthony and Flanscha.. 

“Whatever the painting brings, I'm giving all that money to Chief Michaels, and he’ll distribute that to the families," Brothers said Tuesday, June 12.

York City Firefighter Ivan Flanscha

Money received for the painting will also go to the two men who were injured in the building collapse that killed Flanscha and Anthony, Fire Chief David Michaels said.

Painting: Brothers, a local artist, said he finished the painting about a month ago. Ever since then, he has been trying to find a way to give the money to the families.

It wasn't until recently that he got the go ahead from city officials to auction the painting to raise money for the families.

“I painted it, and I showed it Chief Michaels, and he was overwhelmed when I showed it to him," he said.

"It's gorgeous, it's very moving, it's very touching," Michaels said.

The Laurel Firehouse is where Anthony and Flanscha were stationed. 

The chief said the money will go into a fund that will be distributed to the four firefighters' families.

York City Firefighter Zachary Anthony

Bids on the painting can be made now on its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HonorourFirefighters, and the bidding will end on July 21. Directions on how to bid are also included on the Facebook page.

Additionally, prints, note cards and coffee mugs printed with the painting are available to purchase at Brothers' studio, Brothersart, located at 106 N. George St. The studio, which is located on the third floor above the Handsome Cab, is open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Those interested in the items can also purchase them by emailing breaux2@comcast.net or by phone at 717-578-7851.

The items will also be available to purchase from Brothers' tent at Yorkfest on Aug. 25 and Aug. 26.

Background: York City firefighters Flanscha, 50, and Anthony, 29, died on March 22. 

Flanscha and Anthony were rushed to York Hospital after a wall collapsed while they were at the former Weaver Piano & Organ Co. building, where a fire had broken out nearly 24 hours earlier and firefighters continued to put out hot spots. Both died at the hospital.

Assistant Chief Greg Altland and firefighter Erik Swanson also were injured at the scene.

Flanscha had been with the department since 1999, and Anthony had been there since 2010.

Michaels said that ever since Flanscha and Anthony's death, there has been an outpouring of support from the community. 

"We just really appreciate it," he said.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.