CARMEL, N.Y. – A wake for the four victims of the Sullivan family fire was held Thursday at the Balsamo-Cordovano Funeral Home in Carmel, where government officials, students and family members gathered to remember the victims of the fast-moving fire, which consumed the Sullivan home early Tuesday and left 20-year-old son Thomas Sullivan Jr. as the only survivor.
“We’re still in shock, and clearly you can never be prepared for something like this,” said MaryEllen Odell, Putnam County executive.
She said Thomas Sullivan Jr. was not in attendance Thursday afternoon, and was uncertain if he would come. She said both of Donna Sullivan’s brothers from New York and Thomas Sullivan Sr.’s sisters, from Canada and New York, were in attendance with Thomas Sullivan Sr.’s father.
“Friends are seeing each other for the first time in a long time,” Odell said. “We’re talking about the kids, we’re talking about Tommy, young Tommy. We’re remembering days when it was Little League games and pool parties and, you know, now we’re talking about getting our kids and our family through this.”
Odell said the each one of the four members of the Sullivan family who perished, Larchmont Police Capt. Thomas Sullivan Sr., 48, Donna Sullivan, 47, Meaghan, 17 and Mairead, 15, had an urn with a picture in front of it.
The wake will continue Friday at the Balsamo-Cordovano Funeral Home, 15 Church St. Visiting hours are from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.. The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. Saturday at St. James the Apostle Church, 14 Gleneida Ave., Carmel.
Carmel police and Putnam County fire investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire, and are sending evidence and samples from the scene to the New York state forensic laboratory.
Odell said she was informed by law enforcement officials that the investigation could take weeks, and authorities have issued statements to the press saying no updates would be given about the investigation until early next week.