The Thornwood community is grieving the loss of a 26-year-old volunteer firefighter who died after a fire in his family’s home in the pre-dawn hours on Thanksgiving morning.
Sean Carroll, who had served in the Thornwood Fire Department for the past eight years, was sleeping in the basement of the family home at 914 Warren Ave. when the call came at 4:47 a.m. that a fire had broken out, said Chief James Gedris. The fire was contained to the basement, which was used as a family room and had a couch, where Carroll was sleeping.
Gedris said three other family members who were also in the house at the time managed to get out.
Carroll was transported to Westchester Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
The county’s Cause and Origin Team are still investigating the fire but preliminarily it is believed that it was an accidental electrical fire, Gedris said. It was brought under control by about 6 a.m.
Thornwood firefighters received assistance from departments from Briarcliff Manor, Elmsford, Hawthorne, Ossining, Pleasantville and Valhalla.
Gedris said Carroll was liked by everyone who knew him. Members of the department are trying to cope with his sudden loss.
“He was a guy who was down here and he was friends with everyone, so everyone’s feeling it directly and personally,” Gedris said.
Making it more difficult was that Carroll’s father Richard, a Rye Brook police officer, and his brother are also Thornwood Fire Department members, said Mount Pleasant Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi.
Fulgenzi said Sean Carroll’s death is a tremendous loss for his family and the town.
“He was a good young man,” Fulgenzi said. “He enjoyed being with the Thornwood Fire Department. His brother’s in the department, his father’s in the department, there’s a family history of dedication to the Thornwood Fire Department and protecting the community.”
Carroll went through the local schools and was a graduate of Westlake High School, he said.
The house was damaged to the point where it is uninhabitable and the family has been displaced.
To help defray expenses, the Rye Brook Police Benevolent Association and the Thornwood Fire Department quickly partnered on a fundraising drive for the family, according to the drive’s organizer Dan Bruno. In a little more than two days the fundraising goal of $50,000 was surpassed, but the drive is continuing.
“The Carrolls have found solace in the overwhelming support and generosity from friends, family, and the community as a whole,” Bruno said Sunday in an online post. “The messages of compassion and sympathy that have been included with the donations have truly meant a lot to them. As donations continue to be made, we ask that you please keep the Carrolls in your thoughts and prayers as they struggle through this.”
Fulgenzi said if any good has come out of the tragedy is that it shows how much everyone in the community cares.
“It’s a major loss for the Town of Mount Pleasant and I know that everyone in the town is quite saddened by this loss,” he said. “Whether you knew him or not, the fact that it’s a young man, a local fireman, a good family, it hurts no matter what.”
On Sunday, visitation was held at Beecher Flooks Funeral Home in Pleasantville. The funeral is being held Monday at 10 a.m. at Holy Rosary Church, located at 170 Bradhurst Ave. in Hawthorne followed by burial at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/