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Thread: NY Firefighter Dies After Suffering Heart Attack At Lumberyard Fire

  1. #1
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    NY Firefighter Dies After Suffering Heart Attack At Lumberyard Fire

    NY Firefighter Dies After Suffering Heart Attack At Lumberyard Fire

    Courtesy of News Channel 34

    There is mourning tonight in Owego, after the death of an officer in the fire department. Stephen Gavin got sick during a lumberyard fire last week.

    The flag in front of the Owego Fire Department hangs at half staff and bunting is draped over the front door as firefighters quietly mourn the loss of Stephen Gavin. The 52 year old volunteer's life was cut short after suffering a heart attack in the line of duty.

    Owego Fire Chief Ken Easton said, "Absolute shock to all of us. Stephen is 2 years my junior in good health. Maintains yearly physicals. Who would have thought this would have happened to him."

    The 34 year veteran was rushed to Wilson Hospital after fighting a blaze for several hours last Wednesday that swept though an Owego lumberyard on Day Hollow Road.

    Hot humid weather made for a difficult fire fight. Easton says the environment may have contributed to Gavin's heart attack.

    "Firefighting by nature contributes to a high stress environment and certainly I think that added to his injury."

    Gavin's condition had gotten so bad by Monday afternoon that he was sent to Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania. But bad weather delayed his arrival until after midnight. A couple hours later his lungs filled with fluid. Stephen Gavin was pronounced dead at about 3 Tuesday morning.

    Gavin was a captain, a ground line officer and integral in training the departments 120 volunteers. Chief Easton says Gavin was a colleague and a friend. Both men joined the department in 1969.

    "You would never find a person more dedicated to his community then Steve was...There are a lot of people walking around today who can thank Steve Gavin. I mean every call he makes, I mean the first engine to respond out of this station is Steve Gavin's. Every time, I mean he's just totally dedicated."

    He says Gavin's death will be felt by the whole community.

    Gavin is survived by his wife Toni and three sons, Patrick, Timothy and Danny, all firefighters as well. A full fire fighter funeral is expected to be held later this week.

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    NY Firefighter Dies Following Heart Attack

    NY Firefighter Dies Following Heart Attack

    Courtesy of Binghamton Press & SunBulletin

    OWEGO -- The American flag flies at half staff in front of the Village of Owego Municipal Building. A few hundred feet away, the lighted Maltese cross on the front of the central fire station is draped with a black cloth signifying the mourning period the department and village have entered.

    Stephen G. Gavin, 52, of East Main Street, an acting lieutenant in the Susquehanna Hose Co. No. 1 of the Owego Fire Department, died early Tuesday morning. He had been hospitalized since he suffered a heart attack Aug. 27 while fighting a stubborn lumber yard fire on a hot and humid day.

    "He epitomized the height of the volunteer fire service," said Kenneth Wolff, a retired Tioga County fire coordinator and former Owego fire chief.

    "We certainly have lost a very dedicated and caring individual who served as a mentor for all young men coming into the department," Wolff added.

    Gavin, the father of three sons, all firefighters with the Owego Fire Department, had been in critical condition at Wilson Memorial Regional Medical Center in Johnson City. He died around 3 a.m. Tuesday at Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa., where he had been air lifted in a last-minute attempt to save his life.

    Gavin was the first New York firefighter to die in the line of duty this year, New York State Fire Administrator James A. Burns said. Gavin collapsed while fighting the Robinson Lumber Yard fire on Day Hollow Road in the Town of Owego.

    He will be buried with full firefighter funeral observances, a ceremony that is expected to draw hundreds of fellow firefighters to the Village of Owego.

    The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Patrick's Church in Owego with the Rev. William Moorby and the Rev. Patrick VanDurme officiating.

    Gavin's family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Estey & Monroe Funeral Home, 15 Park St., Owego.

    The 34-year firefighter is survived by his wife, Toni.

    "We have lost one of our own," said Joseph Finnegan, president of the Firemen's Association of the State of New York. "It is certainly a very unfortunate incident that happens all too often and points out the fact firefighting is a dangerous occupation and anything can happen at any time."

    The Owego Fire Department last year honored Gavin and his three sons, Patrick, Timothy and Daniel, as its Firefighters of the Year.

    Gavin also was a past member of the Owego Emergency Squad and had served as squad co-captain.

    He served the fire department and company in many capacities, including past captain. He also was company vice president last year and spent a large period of time involved with three of the department's firematics teams.

    "He had a long firefighting career," Patrick Gavin said, recalling his father's efforts during a number of business-district fires.

    "He died doing what he loved to do, serving the community," Wolff said.

    Funeral Information
    Departments wishing to participate in an apparatus procession should arrive at the Owego VFD North Avenue station by 9 a.m. on September 5. Following the service, a procession will march to the cemetery. For questions, call Tioga Co. Fire (607) 687-8466 or Owego Fire Station (607) 6871201.

    Memorial contributions may be made in Stephen G. Gavin's memory to the Owego Fire Department Training Tower, 178 Main St., Owego, N.Y. 13827.

  3. #3
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Gavin, Stephen G

    Age: 52
    Cause of Death: Stress/Exertion
    Rank: Lieutenant
    Nature of Death: Heart Attack
    Status: Volunteer
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 08/27/2003
    Duty Type: Fireground Operations
    Incident Time: 15:00
    Activity Type:
    Death Date: 09/02/2003
    Fixed Prop. Use: Storage

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Owego Fire Department
    178 Main St.
    Owego , New York 13827
    Chief: Kenneth Easton

    Initial Summary:
    Lt. Gavin died as a result of heart related problems suffered while in the line of duty at a mutual aid structure fire.

    Funeral Arrangements:
    Calling hours will be on Thursday, Sept. 4, from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Estey & Munroe Funeral Home, 15 Park St., Owego. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, Sept. 5, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Patrick

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