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Thread: Fire Investigator Suffers Fatal Heart Attack at Ticonderoga, New York Blaze

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    Fire Investigator Suffers Fatal Heart Attack at Ticonderoga, New York Blaze

    Fire Investigator Suffers Fatal Heart Attack at Ticonderoga, New York Blaze

    Courtesy of The Press-Republican

    TICONDEROGA, NY -- A fire investigator died of a heart attack at the site of a fire that heavily damaged a home on Warner Hill Road here.

    Lois Sawyer safely got out of her two-story wood-frame house after flames erupted just before 3 p.m. Wednesday.

    James Mero Jr., 54, of Willsboro was at the fire site as an Essex County deputy fire coordinator when he was stricken with a heart attack, County Emergency Services Director Raymond Thatcher said.

    "He died on the scene, in his vehicle, during the fire investigation," Thatcher said. "He'd gone back to get some equipment."

    Mero was taken to Moses-Ludington Hospital by Ticonderoga Emergency Squad.

    "He was administered CPR on the scene, and transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead," Thatcher said.

    Mero was a longtime member of the Willsboro Fire Department, and a top-notch investigator, Thatcher said.

    "He was a fire coordinator for about 20 years, and he was a good friend. Jim will be missed."

    Mero was always ready to help when needed, he said, and was someone who could be counted on.

    Sawyer is staying with relatives, and is being assisted by the local chapter of the American Red Cross.

    The home was badly damaged, Thatcher said, and Sawyer did not have insurance.

    "The cause is under investigation. It appears it was accidental."

    The Essex County Fire Investigation Unit, of which Mero was a member, was at the fire conducting an investigation. Thatcher said the fire started in the basement, and a space heater is being looked at as the cause.

    Ticonderoga got assistance in fighting the fire from Crown Point, Chilson, Putnam and Hague departments, with Ticonderoga Town Police and Ticonderoga Emergency Squad also assisting at the location. Westport firefighters brought the Air One truck to the scene to refill air packs.

    Thatcher praised the efforts of firefighters at bringing the fire under control.

    "Everyone worked together and did an excellent job," he said. "A terrible tragedy occurred during this fire."

    Mero will be remembered as a dedicated firefighter, he said.

    Funeral Arrangements: Visitation will take place at the Huestis Funeral Home, Willsboro Sunday, March 13 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m.

    Funeral services will be held Monday, March 14 at St. Philip's Church with Rev. James Delbel officiating 11 a.m.

    In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations in his memory be made to the Willsboro Fire Department or the American Heart Association.

    Mero is survived by his wife, Shelly Mero, his parents Barb and Jim Mero, his in-laws Ray and Valerie Wrisley, his brother and his wife, John and Jill Mero, and his sister, Teresa Mero. He is also survived by aunts Etta Huddleston, Marilyn Beck, Mildred Wrisley, uncles John Lavarnway, William Lavarnway, and Donald (Sonny) Mero Jr., his brother-in-law and wife, Kyle and Anne Wrisley and their children, Brandon and Kasey.

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Mero, Jr., James E

    Age: 51
    Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion
    Rank: Deputy Fire Coordinator/Fire Investigator
    Nature of Death: Heart Attack
    Classification: Career
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 03/09/2005
    Duty Type: On-Scene Fire
    Incident Time: 15:00
    Activity Type: Other
    Death Date: 03/09/2005
    Fixed Prop. Use: Residential

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Essex County Office of Emergency Services
    PO Box 217
    7551 Court Street
    Elizabethtown , New York 12932
    Chief: Director/Fire Coordinator Raymond C. Thatcher

    Initial Summary:
    Investigator Mero was working at the scene of a residential structure fire. When he returned to his vehicle to gather additional equipment he collapsed from an apparent heart attack. Care was initiated at the scene and Mero was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    Memorial Fund Info:
    Donations in his memory may be made to the Willsboro Fire Department-Rescue Squad, 1 Point Road, Willsboro, NY 12996-3911

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