2012-04-26 / Front Page

Four Killed In Carmel Fire

Updated 11 a.m. Tuesday

PHOTO BY ERIC GROSS: Investigators attempt to determine the cause of Tuesday's tragic fire in Carmel.
 PHOTO BY ERIC GROSS: Investigators attempt to determine the cause of Tuesday's tragic fire in Carmel.

An inferno has claimed the lives of four members of a Carmel family.

Flames engulfed the Thomas Sullivan residence on Wyndham Lane within minutes early Tuesday and when firefighters arrived soon after the 2 a.m. alarm was received the two-story home was a “ball of fire” according to CFD Chief Robert Lipton.

Lipton sounded a general alarm and requested mutual aid from surrounding communities. “I never saw such an intense fire,” said the chief who added: “Neighbors were running around, many of them screaming uncontrollably. Flames were blowing out of the front of the building. In minutes the home was destroyed. Anyone inside didn’t have a chance.”

Killed in the blaze was Thomas Sullivan, 48, whose body was located on a rear deck. Authorities said he attempted to escape and jumped out of an upstairs window. His wife, Donna, 47, and the couple’s daughters—Megan, 17 and Mairead, 15, were not as fortunate and perished.

The only survivor was 20-year-old Thomas Sullivan Jr., who managed to escape. He was taken to Danbury Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.PHOTO PROVIDED: Members of the Sullivan Family at a family gathering.PHOTO PROVIDED: Members of the Sullivan Family at a family gathering.

The elder Sullivan was a captain with the Larchmont Police Department.

As fire crews, police and investigators searched the rubble of the once two-story home, members of the Larchmont PD arrived on the scene and prayed. One high ranking officer said he was too upset to comment.

Carmel Supervisor Kenneth Schmitt described the horrific events as “unimaginable. Tom Sullivan and his family were supportive of our community when it came to youth sports. He was instrumental in the creation of Camarda Park off Seminary Hill Road.”

Schmitt called Sullivan a “great guy. I knew him personally. We ran across each other over the years when I served on the Carmel PD while he served his police department in Larchmont with great pride.”

County Executive MaryEllen Odell was also shocked by the tragic news. Soon after arriving at the fire scene in the early morning hours, Odell called the victims “great people. Tommy and Donna were incredible. He coached our kids in youth sports for years. He was funny, generous and an all-around good guy. Donna was a wonderful mother and the girls were adorable. Tommy Jr. was a special kid as well. He attended JFK High School with my own son. I promise you that our community will wrap its arms around this young man.”

Firefighters from Lake Carmel, Brewster, Mahopac and Kent assisted at the scene.

The blaze was described as one of the most tragic in county history.




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