Happy House Builder
His wife's cousins called him "O. B. Carl," as in Overboard Carl. Wander through the pale yellow Colonial in Staten Island that Carl E. Molinaro built for his family, and you will understand why. "We have remote-control doorknobs, elegant ceiling fans," said his wife, Donna. "He wanted to do everything good and fancy."
Firefighter Molinaro, 32, a carpenter and cabinetmaker before he joined the Fire Department three years ago (he worked in Ladder Company 2 in Manhattan), finished building a dream house in Tottenville for himself and his wife at the beginning of August last year.
But the Molinaros waited a few weeks so they could move in as a family: Carl, Donna, 2-year-old Sabrina, and baby Thomas, who was born on Aug. 19.
"Family hug," Firefighter Molinaro would call during those blissful couple of weeks, and in an instant, his wife, their infant and Daddy's little sweetheart (Sabrina, that is) would be in the kitchen, locked in a group embrace.
Eight months old, the youngest Molinaro already has his father's rounded shoulders and big blue eyes. He also has his father's name — after Sept. 11, baby Thomas was renamed Carl.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on April 21, 2002.