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    Moderator patries's Avatar
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    News

    Michael Gorumba

    Rookie Firefighter Dies At Staten Island Inferno

    PHILIP MESSING, LARRY CELONA and DAN KADISON
    NY Post Online


    Photo Courtesy NY Post



    August 29, 2001 -- A 27-year-old fledgling firefighter with a pregnant wife tragically died helping battle a Staten Island blaze yesterday after suffering an apparent heart attack, officials said. In a chilling twist, the fallen hero's wife is believed to have been attending the wake of a cop friend at the Jersey Shore when she learned of her husband's sudden death.

    Rookie Michael Gorumba - who graduated from the Fire Academy only a month ago - complained of chest pains aboard a firetruck from Engine Co. 163 around 3:10 p.m. as it raced to the scene of an auto-shop blaze at 41 Rector St. in Staten Island, law-enforcement sources said.

    Gorumba was later found slumped in the back cab of the truck after apparently collapsing as he attempted to stretch and operate a hose line.

    "Please make it clear that he loved his job," pleaded his shattered wife, Lori, to Mayor Giuliani when asked what to tell the public about her husband.

    In addition to his four-months-pregnant widow, Gorumba also leaves behind their 2-year-old son, Andrew, whom Staten Island neighbors said the young firefighter adored.

    Six other firefighters and an EMS worker suffered smoke inhalation battling the blaze.

    The fire began at 2:32 p.m. at L&S Collision at the corner of Clove Road in the Port Richmond section and was brought under control an hour later.

    Mike Anzalone, who works in an auto-body shop across the street, said he and other workers were eating lunch when someone looked out the window and yelled, "Fire!"

    "The building was already in flames. It looked bad," Anzalone said.

    Gorumba was the fourth city firefighter to die of an apparent heart problem in the past 10 months.

    He suffered a heart murmur as a child, officials said, but was very athletic. He underwent and passed a battery of tests before he joined the department.

    Tragically, he lost his father, who was in his early 50s, this year, also to a heart attack.

    The younger Gorumba was a probationary firefighter assigned to Ladder Co. 46 in The Bronx but was on loan to Engine Co. 163 as part of his training, officials said.

    "He was a nice, good family man and dedicated to his job," said grieving firefighter Peter White, who worked alongside Gorumba. "It was a blessing to know him the short time we did."

    Giuliani, who rushed to console Gorumba's widow and other grieving relatives gathered at St. Vincents Hospital on Staten Island, added, "He died doing what he loved to do, but it doesn't ease the tragedy."Additional reporting by Ed Robinson and Kate Sheehy.
    Last edited by patries; 12-15-2001 at 05:00 AM.

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