CARMEL, N.Y. — Hundreds of uniformed police officers from Westchester and Putnam counties stood in silent salute Saturday as a hearse carrying the remains of Larchmont Police Captain Thomas Sullivan, his wife and two daughters proceeded slowly down Route 52. The procession followed a funeral at St. James the Apostle Church for the Sullivan family members, who died Tuesday in a horrific house fire in Carmel.
A large American flag was hoisted high by firetrucks outside as an estimated 1,000 people attended a Mass led by the Rev. Anthony Sorgie in memory of Larchmont Police Capt. Thomas Sullivan, 48, his wife, Donna, 47, and the couple's daughters, Meaghan, 17, and Mairead, 15.
A son, Thomas Sullivan Jr., 20, who managed to escape the blaze with the help of his father, was seen entering the church with family members. He has been staying with his grandfather in Dutchess County.
Two of Thomas Sullivan's sisters and a cousin were among the speakers at the hourlong service.
“They were very loving people,” said John Mulvihill of Bedford Hills, a longtime family friend. “Nobody ever had a bad word to say about them. They helped us when we were down. They were always helping others and never had an enemy. It’s now our turn to be there for them.”
About 150 people from the Larchmont community attended the service, including 25 police officers and 16 firefighters, said Mayor Anne McAndrews.
“We’re still really in shock. Tom was the heart of the police force and the face of the village,” McAndrews said. “He brought his own sunshine. He had a lovely smile but he was serious at the same time. He knew the community and he knew the concerns. He understood his role was to serve the people.”
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said Thomas Sullivan coached her boys in Little League, and the families were close. She noted many of Sullivan’s former players were at the funeral.
“We’re very sad. He was a gentleman, he was funny and he had that Irish sense of humor,” Odell said. “Putnam County is all about family. We will always be there for Tommy. Big Tommy would have been there for us.
“I'm very proud of our community and how they have come around the Sullivan family,” Odell added. “Most of us have our faith. That’s what sustains us.”
Meaghan Sullivan, a senior, and Mairead, a freshman, both attended Carmel High School. Donna Sullivan worked at Arms Acres Inpatient Facility as an intake coordinator.
The May 1 fire on Wyndham Lane was reported by a neighbor at about 2 a.m. No 911 calls came from inside the home, which was equipped with several wired smoke detectors. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
Thomas Sullivan, whose body was found on the rear deck after jumping from the second floor, and his wife and two daughters died from smoke inhalation, according to the Putnam County coroner.