Sunday, December 23, 2007
Rest in Peace---Tommy and Sophie!!!!
Rest in peace little ones
BOY RAN INTO FIRE TO SAVE PETS
December 18, 2007 -- A 9-year-old Staten Island boy escaped with his family from their blazing home - only to perish when he slipped from the safety of his mother's side and ran back into the inferno to try to save his treasured pets.
Tommy Monahan, his sister and his parents fled the flames that engulfed their home, at 49 Princewood Ave. in Prince's Bay Sunday night, but raced back inside to rescue his pet Yorkie, lizard and fish.
"Tommy! Tommy!" the boy's dad, Thomas, screamed as he saw his son being loaded into an ambulance after a firefighter pulled him from a bedroom.
Samantha DeFilippo, a 12-year-old neighbor who witnessed the heart-wrenching scene, said, "Everyone started crying. I started crying, too."
Tommy, who attended archaeology camp each summer and had told neighbors of his intention to become a scientist, "was always into animals," according to his grandfather, Thomas Monahan III.
"He had a piggy bank, and that money is for the care of stray animals," said the weeping granddad, before joining his mourning family in a relative's nearby home. "He was just a good kid."
Tommy's aunt, Melissa Connelly, called him "a great boy, a very courageous boy. And he will never be forgotten."
Fire officials said a faulty extension cord in the basement started the blaze.
The Monahans told authorities a smoke detector went off in their two-story home at about 11 p.m. Sunday. When someone opened the basement door, the fire quickly spread upstairs.
Thomas Monahan IV, 47, his wife, Maria, young Tommy and his 8-year-old sister, Gabrielle, all managed to escape unharmed.
But Tommy broke free in the confusion and raced back inside to save his Yorkshire terrier, Sophie, and his pet lizard and fish.
"Tommy escaped his mother, and ran upstairs to get his animals. Everybody thought he was outside, but he wasn't," said his neighbor Samantha.
When his relatives realized that Tommy had gone back inside, at least one of them got a ladder and tried to get into second floor.
Some neighbors said that relative was Tommy's electrician dad, but another neighbor said it was his uncle, Craig Monahan, 41, a city firefighter who lives on the street. Scorching heat and flames overpowered the would-be rescuer.
Led by firefighter Anthony Belisario, a group of Bravest pushed their way into the house and headed upstairs, FDNY Chief Thomas Haring said. But the stairs collapsed, trapping Belisario, and he had to be pulled to safety by a fellow firefighter.
Meanwhile, firefighter James Ahrens climbed a ladder at the back of the house to look for Tommy and eventually found him in a front bedroom, Haring said.
An ambulance took Tommy to Staten Island University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Kerrie Barr, a nurse practitioner and neighbor of the Monahans who rode with Tommy in the ambulance, said, "I did CPR on that child. He had no pulse."
Tommy & Sophie
His wake began yesterday. He sounded like a wonderful little boy. The animal community has lost a budding advocate.
Mourners recall an exceptional youngster
Tommy Monahan was an athlete, naturalist, animal lover and devoted son
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
By JOHN ANNESE STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- They surrounded him with the things that defined his young life -- a red soccer ball, a plush lizard, a book about nature and a school report about his dog.
Nine-year-old Tommy Monahan lay in a white casket yesterday afternoon, dressed in a white soccer jersey and surrounded by emblems of his love of animals and nature.
The atmosphere was heavy with grief in the Bedell-Pizzo Funeral Home in Tottenville, where friends and family paid their respects to the brave little boy, who died Monday after trying to save his pet Yorkshire terrier, Sophie, and his lizard from the flames that consumed the family's Prince's Bay home late Sunday night.
Thomas Monahan, who desperately tried to save his son after realizing the boy hadn't made it outside with his parents and 8-year-old sister, appeared stunned as he greeted mourners from his post by the boy's casket.
Photo collages arranged in the funeral home show young Tommy in happier times, with friends, family and his dog.
Sophie also died in the blaze, and family members had the funeral home prepare two prayer cards, one for Tommy, the other for his dog.
In the casket alongside the soccer ball, his family placed a book about rocks and fossils, a report titled "My Dog Sophie," the stuffed lizard, and the Chock Full o' Nuts coffee can in which Tommy kept the money he saved for the ASPCA.
His blue Staten Island United soccer jersey was on display in an arrangement next to the casket, next to a second jersey bearing the name of soccer great David Beckham.
The wake for Tommy will continue today and the boy will be buried tomorrow in Moravian Cemetery, New Dorp, after a mass at 11 a.m. in St. St. Thomas R.C. Church, Pleasant Plains.
The Monahan family has said they've been overwhelmed by the show of support from their neighbors, city officials, even complete strangers, in reaction to the tragedy.
I forgot to mention, if anyone would like to send a donation, his family members are asking mourners to send donations in his name to the:
Staten Island Animal Care Center
3139 Veterans Rd. West
Staten Island, N.Y. 10309.
Losing their son, belongings, & house right before christmas, and they are asking donations be sent to the animals. This family is so amazing. It is no wonder where this little boy learned his compassion from.
THOMAS MONAHAN, 9
Kind beyond his years, 4th-grader loved animals
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
By JOHN ANNESEADVANCE STAFF WRITER
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- At just 9 years old, Thomas (Tommy) P. Monahan V was a dedicated environmentalist who loved animals and had an insatiable curiosity about nature.
Whether it was checking under rocks for salamanders or racing to see a snake caught by one of his friends, the Prince's Bay youth was steadfast in his passions. So much so, that instead of saving money for trading cards or video games, Tommy collected his spare cash in a coffee can labeled "Help Save Dogs and Cats -- Animal Hosting Center ASPCA."
"He didn't spend it on anything. That's the kind of kid he was," said his grandfather, Thomas P. Monahan.
Tommy, a fourth-grader at PS 36 in Prince's Bay, died early Monday morning at Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze, succumbing to injuries he suffered in a fire at his home on Sunday night.
Tommy enrolled every year in an "Earth camp" program sponsored by the Staten Island Museum. He relished leading fellow campers as they hunted for Native American artifacts, fossils, snakes, frogs and horseshoe crabs.
He would often volunteer for environmental cleanup work for the Pleasant Plains, Prince's Bay and Richmond Valley Civic Association, and he held animal charities near and dear to his heart. His cherished his Yorkshire terrier, Sophie, who also died in the fire.
Tommy learned his love of nature from his parents. "They just raised him to respect the environment. He had a heart of gold for animals," said his grandmother, Patricia Monahan. "He respected them and knew everything there was to know about them."
Tommy played soccer in an under-11 recreational league for St. Joseph-St. Thomas R.C. Parish. He also had played for an under-9 Staten Island United travel soccer team, his family recalled. Tommy also loved watching World War II movies and military movies in his spare time.
"Our little angel Tommy was the most curious, adventurous little boy who loved the animals and earth with such vigor," his grandparents said in a handwritten statement. "The first thing Tommy did when he came to our house was lift every rock in the yard in search for salamanders.
"Grandma will miss his loving hugs and healthy appetite, and Grandpa will miss reviewing their favorite coins and answering his nature questions, and his trips to Lemon Creek."
Tommy's family members are asking mourners to send donations in his name to the Staten Island Animal Care Center at 3139 Veterans Rd. West, Staten Island, N.Y. 10309.
"He wanted to take care of homeless cats and dogs," his grandfather said.
In addition to his paternal grandparents, surviving are his parents, Maria and Thomas P. Monahan III ; a stepbrother, Kevin T. McCue; a stepsister, Ashley E. McCue; a sister, Gabrielle G. Monahan, and his maternal grandmother, Gloria Badalamenti.
The funeral will be Thursday from the Bedell-Pizzo Funeral Home, Tottenville, with a mass at 11 a.m. in St. Thomas Church, Pleasant Plains. Burial will follow in Moravian Cemetery, New Dorp