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Firefighter Overcome by Fumes in Tragic Manhole Accident

Firefighter Overcome by Fumes in Tragic Manhole Accident

New York Daily News via YellowBrix

September 07, 2010

TARRYTOWN, NY – Investigators today are trying to figure out why a Tarrytown Volunteer Firefighter and a Department of Public Works employee died after apparently becoming overcome by fumes in a manhole.

The victims were identified as public works employee Anthony Ruggiero and firefighter John Kelly by Tarrytown Village Administrator Michael Blau.

Public works was investigating a call about backed up sewage early Monday afternoon, said Blau. Officers were called to the scene and found the two men unconscious. The DPW worker had gone into a manhole to find the cause of the backup. Blau said the DPW worker apparently passed out and fell. Firefighter John Kelly went in after him and also apparently passed out.

Firefighters with special breathing apparatus then went into the manhole and were able to pull the men out. The victims were rushed to Westchester Medical Center.

“I just want to say our prayers go to the families of the two men,” said Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell.

Ruggiero had been with the village for more than 20 years.

“When the public works employees and firefighters who are here, when they heard, they are trully broken up. These are good, good men. They have friends through the community…. It is a terrible loss,” said Blau.

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