Toms River High School East Alumni passes away in house fire near Niagara University
Communities are in mourning from Toms River and Ocean County up to Niagara Falls, New York after hearing of the passing of 23-year old Patrick Romano this weekend in a house fire, according to multiple reports.
Romano was found along in a single-family house by the Niagara Falls Fire Department, according to NBC affiliate WIVB 4 in Buffalo.
Fire fighters were able to get to Romano after working to put out flames that engulfed the entire residence.
What caused the fire is currently unknown as the investigation continues on Monday.
Niagara University Campus Ministry included Romano as part of the Palm Sunday Liturgy on Sunday with a couple moments of prayer.
Romano was also on the Niagara University Club Hockey team where he played defenseman.
At home in Toms River and Ocean County, the 2016 Toms River High School East graduate's loss is being mourned and he is being remembered for the great and impactful life he lived.
"Pat was the most fun, loving, genuine person who would welcome anyone into his life and he would be your best friend if you knew him for 5 minutes or 5 years," Mike Gibson, one of Patrick Romano's best friends who played hockey with him at Toms River East, tells Townsquare Media News/Shore Sports Network. "Pat was one of those kids that would light up any room that he walked into and always put a smile on everyone’s face. But most importantly, this kid loved his mother like no other and was absolute bestfriends with her. He graduated in 2016 and played hockey with me and many other life long friends. He was truly a “beauty” as he would say and will be missed by so many people."
The Toms River Regional School District has issued a statement following his passing as well.
"Toms River Regional Schools is extremely saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Patrick Romano, who graduated High School East in 2016. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends."
Patrick Romano of Toms River remembered
Niagara University President James Maher released a statement over the weekend on the passing of Romano as well, obtained by Ali Touhey of ABC affiliate WKBW in Buffalo.