Friends and family are mourning a firefighter who died last week after suffering an apparent stroke while answering an emergency call in Williamsburg.
Warhola, a 15-year veteran of the FDNY’s Engine 221 in South Williamsburg (161 South 2nd Street), died last week while responding to a fire alarm in an apartment building along the Williamsburg waterfront.
Wakes for Firefighter Paul Warhola, 47, will occur at the Sinnickson Funeral Home, 203 Main Street in, Center Moriches, Long Island, Monday, August 17, from 7-9 PM. and on Tuesday, August 18, from 2-4 p.m., and from 7-9 p.m.,St. John Evangelist Roman Catholic Church (25 Ocean Ave., Center Moriches, L.I.) will also hold a funeral mass on Wednesday, August 19, with a burial proceeding afterward.
“Firefighter Paul Warhola really was one of the Bravest,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.“People put their lives on the line all the time to make this city safer and sometimes they just don’t come home.”
In the early morning hours on August 12, Warhola and other members of Engine 221 responded to a fire alarm in an apartment building Tower 1 at Northside Piers (164 Kent Avenue) on the Williamsburg waterfront.Warhola, who was driving the fire engine, suffered stroke-related symptoms while operating a fire hydrant outside the building.He was treated at Bellevue Hospital, which has a specialized unit for treating stroke victims, but succumbed to his injuries on August 14.
“This is a terrible tragedy for the FDNY and the entire City of New York,” said FDNY Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta.“Firefighter Warhola was an honored and respected member of this department.He will be sorely missed.Our hearts go out to his family.”
Members of Engine 221, where Warhola spent his entire career, mourned their loss by hanging memorial banners throughout the weekend and placed Warhola’s jacket on the bumper of a fire truck.
Williamsburg community members, many of whom demonstrated against the closing of Engine Company 212 in 2002, expressed their sympathy to Warhola’s family and to his colleagues in Engine 221 for their loss.
“We’re saddened to hear about the loss of any firefighter, especially someone who dedicated their life to protecting the community from fires,” said NAG Co-Chair Susan Albrecht.
Williamsburg resident Phil DePaolo noted how Engine 221 has been covering more ground in the years since the closing of Engine 212, while also recognizing the dedicated work of the pride of South Williamsburg.
“All I can think of is the family this man had.I think of his comrades at the house,” said DePaolo.“He spent his whole career protecting Williamsburg.He was an experienced chauffeur, driving the rig, and chauffeurs make abig difference responding to calls.”
For more information about funeral services and donations to the Warhola family, call Sinnickson Funeral Home, (203 Main St., Center Moriches, L.I.) at 631-878-0065.