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More than 100 people and several local fire departments gathered last Saturday afternoon to honor volunteer firefighter Sean Carroll who died in a fire in his family’s home early on Thanksgiving morning last year. Carroll was 26 years old and had served the Thornwood Fire Department for eight years.
The fire broke out at the Carroll home at 914 Warren Ave. at 4:47 a.m. and was contained to the basement, used as a family room and where Carroll was sleeping on the couch. Three other family members who were also in the house at the time managed to get out.
Highlighting Saturday’s dedication ceremony was the unveiling of two new street signs, “Sean Carroll Way.” The signs are located at both ends of the one-block long street behind the Thornwood Fire House.
“A street naming is not something taken lightly,” said Carroll’s father, Richard Carroll,
a member of the Thornwood Fire Department and a Rye Brook police officer. “Streets are forever, and they never go away. Now for us, Sean’s memory will never go away. He will always be with us when we drive by.”
At the dedication ceremony were fire departments from Mt. Pleasant, Valhalla, Pleasantville and Hawthorne.
Majority Leader of the New York State Senate Andrea Stewart-Cousins thanked all the volunteer firefighters who she remarked “do so much.” She presented the Carroll family and the Thornwood Fire Department a posthumous plaque honoring Carroll for his service.
“It’s an honor to be here to uplift the memory of Sean Carroll,” she said. “We are saddened but heartened with the community outpouring that has supported the family.”
As the cardboard cover was pulled off the street sign, bagpipes played “Amazing Grace.” Once the new street sign was revealed, applause broke out.
“Sean was the best guy you could want to work with and a great member to have on board,” said Chief James Gedris. “He was our recording secretary and very responsible.”
Carroll family members travelled from the Boston area to pay their respects. “Sean brought joy to everyone he met, he was a happy person and gave great hugs,” said Carroll’s cousin Laura Johnson.
Among local officials honoring Carroll and his family were Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, Westchester Legislator Margaret Cunzio, Town of Mount Pleasant Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi and Councilwoman Danielle Zaino.
Cunzio, who has been a member of the Thornwood Fire Department for years, said the town was very receptive to honoring Carroll. “The Carroll family is an integral part of this community. Sean was the first person to congratulate me when I joined the department. He was a good friend,” Cunzio said.
The Ladies Auxiliary of Thornwood Fire Company No. 1 dedicated a bench to Carroll, which is now in front of the fire house.
After the ceremony, fire departments joined together as a group to uncover the second street sign at the end of the block.
“It’s wonderful to see how each fire department supports each other and how they came together to support the family,” Zaino said. “It pulls at my heartstrings.”
Abby is a local journalist who has reported on breaking news for more than 20 years. She currently covers community issues in The Examiner as a full-time reporter and has written for the paper since its inception in 2007. Read more from Abby’s editor-author bio here. Read Abbys’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/ab-lub2019/