LIBERTY Firefighter dies after fall at fire
The volunteer firefighter was pulling hose off a truck when he fell off.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
LIBERTY -- The Mahoning County coroner is attempting to determine if a township volunteer firefighter died from a fall or if his death was natural.
Eddie Conricote, 55, Belmar Drive, a former Catholic priest, died early Monday evening at St. Elizabeth Health Center, where he was taken from a fire scene.
"He had friends everywhere," Fire Chief Michael Durkin said.
At the township administration building, Conricote, a 15-year firefighter, was known for always having a smile and never saying anything negative about anyone.
Durkin said Conricote had just pulled into the driveway of his home after working his full-time job at the township road department.
The fire was at 2740 Barth Ave., the next street over from where Conricote lived.
Conricote was taking hose from a firetruck to battle the blaze when he fell off the truck and struck his head, Durkin said. He died about an hour later.
It hasn't been determined, the chief said, if Conricote died of a heart attack that caused him to fall or of injuries suffered in the fall.
He was unconscious after he fell to the ground and never regained consciousness, the chief explained.
Cause of fire
Durkin said that it appears the cause of the blaze was an electrical problem in one of two cars in the garage of the split-level frame house.
The flames from a Cadillac spread to a Chrysler in the garage and into the portion of the house above the garage.
Durkin said the fire caused $30,000 to $40,000 damage to the cars and an estimated total damage of $80,000.
Durkin said Conricote was a regular contributor to a firefighters' Web site and helped those in the firefighting business.
The chief said that as a priest, Conricote had helped firefighters. Durkin is a former Youngstown firefighter and knew him as a priest for years.
Conricote, who lived alone, left the priesthood and used his education in pharmaceutical sales, the chief said.
Love of firefighting
Durkin said Conricote decided to go to work for the township so he could be a firefighter. He worked for the park department for two years before going to the road department.
Tim Monroe, road department superintendent, said the Ursuline High School graduate died doing what he liked -- fighting fires.
Although he worked for the road department for 15 to 16 years, "his true love was being a firefighter," Monroe said.
"He was a great guy," Monroe said, noting Conricote was seldom upset.
Funeral arrangements are pending.