GATES, N.Y. (WROC) — A longtime employee and volunteer of the Gates fire community died this past weekend.
Joseph Manuse died from a bee sting on Sunday while he was off duty and visiting family. A spokesperson for the Gates Fire District said family members performed life-saving measures, an ambulance was called, and he later died at the hospital.
A good man, gone too soon. That’s what people close to Manuse are saying about him. Mark Assini lived in the same neighborhood as Manuse and watched him grow up.
“I asked this young man, ‘what do you wanna do when you grow up?’ I asked both brothers, and Joe said he was thinking about being either a policeman or a fireman. You listen to kids at 11, 12 who knows, but sure enough he stuck with that he ended up serving in the fire department and he did a beautiful job in this community,” Assini said.
Assini said he’s glad he had the chance to tell Manuse what he thought of him.
“I told him, ‘I am so proud of you, Joe, and the man you’ve become and what you’ve done in this fire service, I wanted you to know that.’ He gave me a big smile and a hug,” said Assini.
Assini said Manuse was always great with kids and represented the fire department well. The thing he’ll miss most about him is his presence.
“When you went to a community event, this guy just lit up the whole room and wherever he was he had that infectious smile that warmth and you just felt good around him.”
Manuse took on many jobs during his time in the fire community.
He was a volunteer firefighter with the Gates-Chili Fire Department for 29 years where he held the ranks of Lieutenant, Captain and Assistant Chief.
Manuse was also an employee at the Gates Fire District for the past 11 years as a Fire Prevention Officer.
Most recently Manuse was handling the duties of a public information officer.
Funeral arrangements will be made available at a later date.
The Gates police chief and town supervisor are reserving comment until they speak to the family.