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Thread: 70-Year-Old Pennsylvania Firefighter Dies on Call

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

    70-Year-Old Pennsylvania Firefighter Dies on Call

    70-Year-Old Pennsylvania Firefighter Dies on Call

    Courtesy of Valley News Dispatch

    VANDERGRIFT: Vandergrift No. 1 firefighters are mourning the loss of longtime firefighter Rich Gabrielli.

    The 70-year-old Vandergrift man collapsed during a fire call just before 12:30 p.m. Monday and was later pronounced dead at Allegheny Valley Hospital, Harrison. An autopsy is scheduled for this morning to determine his cause of death.

    Gabrielli, acting as a fire policeman, collapsed while directing traffic at the gate of Allegheny Ludlum's Vandergrift plant. The gate is along Route 56.

    Fire crews had been called to the plant to help Ludlum's fire brigade put out a minor paper fire in the No. 91 anneal and pickle line, according to company spokesman Dan Greenfield.


    Richard L. Gabrielli, 70, of Vandergrift, died Monday (Feb. 23, 2004) at Allegheny Valley Hospital, Natrona Heights, Harrison.

    Born Dec. 30, 1933, in Apollo, he lived in Vandergrift most of his life.

    A 1952 graduate of Apollo Area High School, he earned numerous degrees from Robert Morris College, Pittsburgh.

    He served with the Army in Germany during the Korean War as a motor sergeant.

    An accountant for 30 years, he worked for Alcoa, retiring in 1993 from the accounting department at the Alcoa Research Center, Merwin, Upper Burrell. He previously worked at the New Kensington location.

    Mr. Gabrielli was a member of St. Gertrude Roman Catholic Church, Sons of Italy, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Knights of Columbus, and Association for the Blind, where he was a former board member, all in Vandergrift.

    For six years, he was treasurer of the Westmoreland County Democratic Committee, and from 1985 to 1989, he was president of Vandergrift council. He also was a 36 year member of George G. McMurtry Fire Department No. 1, Vandergrift, where he held various offices including first and second vice president, first and second assistant chief, assistant treasurer and first aid captain.

    An avid sports fan, he also enjoyed fishing.

    Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Elsa "Betty" Petrarca Gabrielli; a son, Willima R. Gabrielli of Allegheny Township; two daughters, Yvonne M. Newlon of Kremmling, Colo., and Mrs. Arlene L. (Randy) Klick of Vandergrift; seven grandchildren; two brothers, Domenick Gabrielli of Apollo and Frank (Anne) Gabrielli of Bremmerton, Wash.; and a sister, Mrs. Rosemarie (Richard) Ravetto of Orlando, Fla.

    He was preceded in death by his parents, Alceste A. and Mary Ann Uvena Gabrielli.

    Visitation will be from 7 to 9 tonight and 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the BRADY-CURRAN FUNERAL HOME INC., 429 Franklin Ave., Vandergrift. Christian Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday in St. Gertrude Church, by the Rev. Leo Rothrauff. Burial, with military honors accorded by the Vandergrift Veterans Honor Guard, will be in Greenwood Memorial Park Mausoleum, Lower Burrell. The family suggests memorial contributions may be made to George G. McMurtry Fire Dept. No. 1, Franklin Ave., Vandergrift, PA 15690. Visit at

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Gabrielli, Rich

    Age: 70
    Cause of Death:
    Rank: Firefighter
    Nature of Death:
    Status: Volunteer
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 02/23/2004
    Duty Type: Fireground Operations
    Incident Time: 12:27
    Activity Type: Support Duties
    Death Date: 02/23/2004
    Fixed Prop. Use: Industry

    Fire Dept. Info:
    George G. McMurtry Volunteer Fire Department
    PO Box 6
    Vandergrift , Pennsylvania 15690

    Initial Summary:
    While performing fire police functions on the scene of a working fire at the Vandergrift plant of Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation, Firefighter Gabrielli collapsed and died from a cause still to be determined.

    Memorial Fund Info:
    A memorial fund has been established at the First Commonwealth Bank to benefit the surviving name family members. Donations can be sent to Rich Gabrielli Memorial Fund, c/o George G. McMurtry Fire Department, P.O. Box 6, Vandergrift, PA 15690.

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