See all of our coverage of the Sullivan Family Fire.
This story was updated at 4:30 p.m.LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- The village has cancelled court and the traffic commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday night out of respect for Larchmont Police Capt. Thomas Sullivan, who died in an early morning house fire in Carmel that also claimed the lives of his wife, Donna, and their two teenage daughters. Both will be rescheduled and new times will be posted on the village website. While the village and surrounding communities mourn the loss of Sullivan, a 20-year veteran of the Larchmont Police Department, residents like Liz Alfieri have struggled to fight back tears as they mourn the loss.
Alfieri, owner of Larchmont Floral Designs, went to Larchmont Village Hall on Tuesday morning to greet a friend when she heard the news. The Hawthorne resident, who has been in business for 19 years on Chatsworth Avenue, said Sullivan, 48, often came to her shop to order flowers for village events and his wife during his 20-year career.
Earlier in the morning, Msgr. Thomas Kelly, of St. Augustine's Church in Larchmont, visited police headquarters to offer his condolences. He said the officers there were "banding together" to get through this difficult time.
Police Chief John Poleway and Lt. Antonio Rigano were at Danbury Hospital where the only survivor, 20-year-old Thomas Sullivan Jr., was being treated for smoke inhalation. He was released Tuesday morning and is staying with his grandparents, said Putnam County Executive Mary Ellen Odell.
Sullivan Jr. had just begun a summer job with the Larchmont Department of Public Works, said McAndrews, who added she saw him mowing the front lawn of village hall Monday morning.
From the hospital, Poleway called Larchmont Village Mayor Anne McAndrews around 5:45 a.m. to inform her of what happened.
"He was the heart of the police department," said McAndrews, after taking a deep breath to collect herself. "He was a wonderful man and a wonderful police officer, and we're just stunned by this loss, not only to his family, but to this family, the village family."
Josh Mandell, who preceded McAndrews as mayor, said Sullivan was always welcoming and, as such, got to know him before joining the board.
"He was probably one of the police officers that residents felt most comfortable interacting with," said Mandell. "He was a good man with a big heart and a big smile. He always did his job with a smile."
Capt. John Caparelli of the Larchmont Fire Department said he had a good working relationship with Sullivan.
"He was very friendly," he said. "You could always talk to him. He was just a great guy."
Sullivan, who McAndrews said was known in the village as Tommy, began his police career with the New York City Police Department in January 1986 and joined the Larchmont Police Department in August 1992, according to the police department's website.
Alfieri remembered Sullivan as a good man with a great sense of humor.
"He was always joking," said Alfieri, who added he would always honk his horn and wave when he passed her shop. "I guess it was the Irish in him. He always had a quick one-liner."
The Larchmont Police Department said they will issue a press release later today.