Mayor Scarcella and council address fallen firefighters

By Karen Daniels

At the June 5 Stafford City Council meeting, Mayor Leonard Scarcella took time to acknowledge his sincere condolences for the “horrific event” that took place on May 31 at the Southwestern Inn Motel. Normally, the Mayor opens each council meeting with a quick story or update that somehow relates to the City of Stafford, unfortunately this opening statement was tragic, but well deserving of the extended time he dedicated to the fallen heroes and “what these men and women are willing to do for our safety.” A moment of silence was taken in their honor.

As you most likely know by now, firefighter Anne Sullivan trained and volunteered at Stafford’s fire station #3 for over three years and had a “can-do attitude.” You could see the heartache on all of the Councilmembers’ faces as they nodded in agreement with the Mayor’s words. Assistant Fire Chief Effrem Burns spoke at the council meeting and said that although “the last few days have been tough,” and that losing their long-time volunteer, Anne Sullivan, “shook them to the core” he assured the Mayor, Council, and the City of Stafford that, “you can be proud of our group of volunteers because they are holding it together…and they are going to make it.” He thanked everyone for their prayers.

Stafford’s Fire Chief, Larry DiCamillo, was also at that horrific fire, but fortunately escaped the building without injury. Chief DiCamillo spoke at the memorial held at Reliant Stadium for the firefighters and the funeral for Anne Sullivan. Councilman Cecil Willis spoke of the immediate support the City of Stafford received from the Cities of Richmond and Missouri City fire departments. Of Firefighter Sullivan, he said she, “Developed her love and her desire with the encouragement of her fellow firefighters in Stafford to become a firefighter. And so that’s why it’s particularly hard on our department because they encouraged her so much to follow her dreams and her desires, because she was a first-class firefighter.” Councilman Willis also asked that citizens stop by and visit the fire stations to show their support.

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