Missing firefighter on Whiteface Mountain is: 'Outgoing, positive, larger than life'


A Toronto firefighter who went missing last week while skiing at Lake Placid has been located "alive and in good health" in Sacramento, California, New York State Police say.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department told KCRA that Constantinos "Danny" Filippidis, 49, of Toronto, was found Tuesday near the rental vehicle terminal at the Sacramento airport.

Yet the local police found Filippidis at the Sacramento International Airport, near the rental auto terminal, the Star reported.

Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said in an interview with Toronto's City News that Filippidis was "outgoing, positive, larger than life" and "a pleasure to be around".

Ramagnano said that more than 100 firefighters with Toronto Fire Services traveled to Wilmington to help find their comrade.

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Ramagnano said the group was skiing down Whiteface Mountain when they noticed he never made it down the hill after the chairlifts shut down at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. "The circumstances regarding this case are under investigation, and further details will be released at a later time", the police statement said.

He was found wearing the same ski gear, including the helmet and goggles, he was last seen in when he was reported missing. His belongings were left behind at the resort and his auto was in the parking lot.

There is no information how he went missing or ended up in Sacramento.

"They'll do a comprehensive investigation", Ramagnano said.

He was last seen making an afternoon run at a NY ski resort at Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, N.Y., on February 7. He said Filippidis was skiing with one other person but when that person started to feel tired, he said Filippidis chose to do "one last run" by himself.

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It did disrupt operations at Whiteface, Lundin said.

"I saw the pain in his kids eyes when we were there".

"After speaking with him (Filippidis) it sounds as if he may have gotten a ride in a big rig - he was unable to provide us with a description of the big rid or a description of the driver of the big rig - but he was found with cash in his possession and a Visa card and a cell phone he had recently purchased", he said.

A widespread search mission saw hundreds of volunteers spend nearly 7,000 hours scaling steep and icy terrain.

Beau Duffy, a State Police spokesman, said no estimate of the cost of the massive search had been calculated yet.

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Toronto has more than 3,000 firefighters. Lundin said the response from the Toronto fire community has been tremendous. The search involved six government agencies, two ski patrols and local volunteer organizations. "They're very supportive of what we're doing and very appreciative of all our efforts".