Hundreds of firefighters lay fallen brother to rest
Family, friends and hundreds of first responders gathered at Holy Rosary Church in Hawthorne Monday to say goodbye to a young firefighter from Thornwood who was tragically killed in his own home on Thanksgiving Day.
As a bagpiper's solemn sound of "Going Home" filled the air, the coffin carrying the body of 26-year-old Sean Carroll was taken off a vintage Thornwood Fire Department truck and ushered into the church for his funeral service.
Throughout his eight-year career, Carroll helped save many lives. The Thornwood volunteer firefighter lost his own life when a fast-moving fire ripped through his family's home on Warren Avenue early Thanksgiving morning.
Fire officials say the blaze broke out in the basement where Carroll was asleep and spread quickly to the upper floors. Firefighters were able to wake up and evacuate three other family members but unfortunately were not able to save Carroll.
The cause of the fire is being investigated, but officials say they aren't ruling out the possibility that the fire was electric-related.
Carroll comes from a family of firefighters. His brother Matt and father Richard are also members of the Thornwood Fire Department. Richard Carroll is also a sergeant with the Rye Brook Police Department, and Matt Carroll is also an FDNY firefighter. A funeral procession from a funeral home in Pleasantville to the church in Hawthorne included hundreds of firefighters from Westchester and New York City.
An online fundraiser set up by the Rye Brook Police Benevolent Association for the Carroll family has already far exceeded its goal of $100,000. "It’s a close-knit family in the Thornwood Fire Department, and the Westchester County firefighters will embrace them and make sure they're OK," says Jim Feeney, retired firefighter. "It's a tremendous loss for a mother to lose a child, and for a father to lose a child, it really resonates how precious life is and how careful we have to be," says Mount Pleasant Councilwoman Laurie Rogers-Smalley.
Carroll was laid to rest at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne.