Webster, N.Y. - Just four days. That's how long it took members of the Mastic Beach Fire Department in Long Island, New York to think of Lt. Mike Chiapperini as one of their own.
"They fit right in like they were always with our department and we got along really well and we just had the upmost respect," 2nd Assistant Chief Tom Montreuil with the Mastic Beach Fire Department said.
Chiapperini spent four days on Long Island helping the Mastic Beach Fire Department after that area was hit by Superstorm Sandy.
"Just everything about Mike, he was a real role model, the way he lived his life. How he brought his son down with him as part of the fire crew," Montreuil said.
In other words, he left an impression, making the news of what happened on Christmas Eve all the more difficult for Mastic Beach firefighters to handle.
"It's very hard to get a grasp on," Mastic Beach Fire Chief Robert Ubaldo said. "As a firefighter you don't think that you're going to encounter that."
"I guess shock, and terrible sadness. For the people that were left behind, his brothers in the department, all their families," Montreuil said.
That's why dozens of firefighters from the Mastic Beach Fire Department joined others from across the country in Webster Saturday night to stand together.
"That's the brotherhood; we're here for the family. Mike is in a better place and we're here to support the family," Ubaldo said.
"It's a very close knit family and organization and it affects everyone in the department," Montreuil said.