It is with deep sadness that the Board of Commissioners, chiefs, Company 1 officers and officers and members Wantagh Fire Department announce the passing of Charles Fiorella of Engine 3.
Charlie was a 33-year and beloved member of the ‘Harbor House.’ He served as Lieutenant from May 1, 1989 to April 30, 1990, and again from May 1, 1995 to April 30, 1996. He was Captain from May 1, 1991 to April 30, 1993. He received several awards including a Unit Citation for his involvement in an overturned propane tanker on the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway.
Charlie was predeceased by his loving wife, Bernadette ‘Bunny’ in 2004. He is survived by his daughter Emily Brandi (Doug), their children Alexi and Nikolas, and Joseph (Heather) and their children Joseph, Jr., Samantha and Sabrina. He is also survived by his sister, Bernadette Wichman (Craig), brother-in-law Mike Pienkos, Sr., two nephews and one niece.
Being a firefighter was something that was in Charlie’s family. Bunny served as one of Wantagh’s first female firefighters prior to her passing and Charlie’s son Joseph was a member of Engine 3, and his son-in-law, Doug, is still an active member.
Charlie was one of those guys that always had a smile on his face, did what was asked of him and had a knack of not taking things too seriously. He enjoyed being around others and they, in turn, enjoyed being around him. Other than the department and his family, Charlie enjoyed fishing and living on the water.
A wake was held July 1, followed by Mass on July 2 at St. William the Abbot in Seaford.
– Fire News story by Kevin Regan, PIO; Photo provided by the family