Ronald Thomas died attempting to save Daniel G. Allen from drowning, Wellsville, New York, April 29, 2007. Daniel, 16, and his father were fishing from atop a man-made waterfall that spanned the Genesee River when the father toppled into the boil of water at the base of the falls. Attempting to help him, Daniel also fell into the boil. They could not extract themselves. Thomas, 56, sub-assembler and welder, was fishing nearby, also above the falls. He moved along the falls to a point above Daniel and his father and extended his fishing pole toward Daniel. Daniel reached for the pole, but then Thomas fell from the falls into the boil. Both Daniel and his father became free of the boil and were aided by others to the bank. Rescue personnel arrived at the scene and were preparing to enter the water to recover Thomas when he became free of the boil and floated downstream. Rescuers removed him from the water but could not revive him, as he had drowned. Daniel and his father were taken to the hospital for observation, but they were not injured.
80272 – 920480272-9204
It is with regret that the Office of Fire Prevention and Control announces the death in the line of duty of Firefighter Ronald W. Thomas of the Wellsville Fire Department, Allegany County, on April 29, 2007.
Firefighter Thomas, age 56, drowned while attempting a water rescue.
A funeral service was held on May 7 at the Brookside Wesleyan Church, Wellsville.
(Edited from an obituary provided by a family member.)