fund created to
cover claims by
of dollars on
the stock market
mounting sums on
that little will
be left for sick
and dying 9/11
The WTC Captive
Insurance Co., a
has spent $172
and legal costs
since 2004 - but
$320,000 to five
- many suffering
exposure - have
the city $1
billion in 9/11
but the city has
chosen to fight
the claims in
below $1 billion
for the first
time - to $968
million as of
Sept. 30 - as
the economy hit
Robert Holzmaier, chief of the New York Fire Department’s 11th Battalion, which helped to put out the six-alarm fire that erupted in the wiring of the cathedral’s gift shop on Dec. 18, 2001, two months after the 9/11 attacks, led a contingent of firefighters invited to participate in Sunday’s ceremony.
Church leaders and
including New York’s two
senators, hailed the
occasion with sermons
and speeches during a
filled with pageantry,
dance and the visceral,
booming chords of the
church’s restored great
organ, heard publicly
for the first time since
among the several
thousand people who
packed the cathedral on
the Upper West Side of
Manhattan on Sunday, few
could be more thankful
congregation members who
endured the seven-year
cleanup with a mix of
exasperation. Year after
year, their worship
services had been
partitions in different
sections and corners of
the church to
accommodate the work in
the beginning, the
prayer books smelled of
smoke and you’d
sometimes sit there and
a piece of soot would
just float down from the
ceiling,” said Sandra
Schubert, a longtime
member of the
congregation of about
Some with asthma stayed
most attended services
in whichever part of the
cathedral the folding
chairs had been set up.
“If you belong to a
church, that is your
church,” said Marsha Ra,
a retired librarian who
was an usher at Sunday’s
service. “It’s a
Sunday’s service marked the first time since the fire that most had seen the entire 200-yard-long interior of the cathedral unobstructed by scaffolding or partition walls.
More than that, it was the first time many had ever seen details of the original workmanship of the church. Erected piecemeal between the turn of the century and 1941, the building interior, even before the fire, had acquired a sooty coating of urban plaque.
In that sense, the restoration was like a revelation.
“There is so much light!” said Sylvia Bellusci, a retired social worker who, until the fire, used to give guided tours of the cathedral. “The angels in the columns up there, you couldn’t see that before,” she said, pointing toward the bas-relief on the column capitals about 200 feet up. “The proportions of everything, it just seems so much more clear.” >>>
staff and faithful at R.P. McMurphy's in
Wantagh vowed they would never forget
and they haven't:
"The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund was
established in memory of Terry Farrell,
a decorated member of Rescue 4/FDNY and
Chief of the Dix Hills Volunteer Fire
Department. Terry, along with 342 of his
brothers, perished on September 11,
2001, in the World Trade Center attacks.
"The fund assists firefighters and their
families with educational, medical and
equipment needs. We support the
firefighters who serve our communities.
"JIM BEAM PROMOTES TERRY FARRELL
"For every case of Jim Beam sold, $2
will be donated to the Terry Farrell
Firefighters Scholarship Fund. This
worldwide charity gives much
needed-financial aid to the sons and
daughters of firefighters.
"Two proud sponsors are the Jim Beam
collectible Terry Farrell Jim Beam
Bottles and Boeing Brothers/Miller
Bartender Billy Regan informs us the
Christmas party will be held Saturday,
with a 1 p.m. kickoff.
Firefighters from a Harlem firehouse were responding to a call when a blaze was reported at a familiar address: their own firehouse.
The two-alarm fire erupted around 7:30 p.m. Friday and sent flames shooting out windows at the Engine 80/Ladder 23 firehouse on West 139th Street. More than 100 firefighters worked for about two hours to get control of the blaze on the building's second floor.
The fire was extinguished by 25 units, including some firefighters from Engine 80, the spokesman said.
The blaze was being investigated last night, but an FDNY spokesman said it did not appear to be suspicious.
Three firefighters were being treated for minor injuries at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia and two others were rushed to St. Luke's Hospital, the spokesman said.
A new, massive bike lane has clogged Grand Street so badly that firefighters are having trouble turning their rigs onto the road, downtown shopkeepers and residents told The Post.
Eyewitnesses to the problem fear New York's Bravest could be blocked from keeping up their stellar response times in Little Italy.
One firefighter at Engine Co. 55 on Broome Street told The Post that the firehouse was looking for other ways around the mess.
"It is a problem. It's something we've been talking about. We been changing our routes when we're driving around this area," he said.
But the city doesn't exactly see it as a hindrance.
"The bike lanes have not affected our response times, but there are a variety of factors that can impact them," said FDNY spokesman Steve Ritea. "And we're in communication with DOT about the lanes to make sure they don't create any problems in the future.">>>
City firefighters who battled a 2001 blaze in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine will help rededicate the upper Manhattan landmark on Sunday.
The members of New York's Bravest will join a procession of Episcopal bishops as the Gothic cathedral - the largest in the world - is completely reopened for the first time since the devastating Dec. 18, 2001, fire.
The blaze started in the cathedral's gift shop. Before it could be brought under control, it had damaged ancient tapestries and an 8,500-pipe organ.
The 601-foot-long cathedral - larger than the French cathedrals of Chartres and Notre Dame combined - had been halved in size by a temporary wall that concealed restoration work.
At Sunday's celebration, the 98-year-old Skinner organ will be played for the first time following a painstaking pipe-by-pipe restoration.
The restoration of the cathedral, built in 1892, also refurbished every inch of its limestone, marble and granite surfaces.
Two rare 17th century Barberini tapestries - part of a set of a dozen depicting the life of Jesus Christ - were restored in the cathedral's textile conservation lab.
To mark Sunday's rededication, the cathedral's music director, Bruce Neswick, will play a specially written hymn titled "The New Jerusalem."
Ryan's widow said, "The
outpouring of love and
respect is overwhelming.
One thing I can tell you
for sure is that Bobby
truly deserves it.
"The warm embrace we all
felt from Bobby, I feel
it now here with all of
NY Daily News
the world were even
remotely fair, Kathleen
Ryan would have been
looking forward to
Thanksgiving with her
family in the new house
they were making the
home of their dreams.
were happy layering our
home with happiness and
warmth," she said of the
house she and Fire Lt.
Robert Ryan moved into
nine months ago. "It was
a place to grow."
dream was upended early
Sunday, when the
lieutenant known as a
"fireman's fireman" was
killed in a blaze
sparked by faulty
Now, on this chilly day
Kathleen Ryan was at her
husband's funeral in
Sacred Heart Church on
reached over and placed
her open right hand on
his coffin when the Rev.
Louis Jerome called for
the mourners to exchange
a sign of peace.
listened to Mayor
Bloomberg and then Fire
Scoppetta extol this
firefighter who could
have retired with a
pension after being
seriously burned in a
Instead, he spent a year
struggling back to full
duty, only to be fatally
injured in a fire just
14 minutes after the
alarm came in.
those 14 minutes, the
city was once again
reminded how selfless
our firefighters truly
are," Scoppetta said.
next eulogy came from
Connolly. He recalled
that on that last tour
the lieutenant proudly
told him about visiting
a college with his
17-year-old son Chris.
"Little did I know I
would meet Chris for the
first time at the
hospital hours later,"
Connolly recounted what
the son told him.
Connolly's voice broke
and he had to pause.
young man, a senior in
high school, telling me
to be strong," Connolly
As hundreds pay their
respects to fallen fire Lt., his comrades vow to
continue his good works
Staten Island Advance
Friday, Fire Lt. Robert Ryan
Jr. dropped off a flier at
the Ace Hardware store in
West Brighton advertising a
toy drive for children at a
days later, scores of Ryan's
comrades stood vigil not far
away, on the sidewalk and
steps leading to the Harmon
Home for Funerals, gathering
in the chill night air to
say goodbye. Hundreds of
mourners stood in a line
that extended nearly a
block. Last night's wake was
open to the public. A
viewing just for the family
was held in the afternoon.
17-year veteran and father
of four was killed early
Sunday in a house fire on
Van Buren Street, in New
of firefighters from Engine
Co. 155, to which Ryan was
assigned, and Ladder Co. 78,
which shares the so-called
"Hot Corner" firehouse at
Brighton Avenue, snapped to
salute as family members
arrived just before 7 p.m.
did not comment, but a
Iacovano, read a statement
on their behalf thanking the
community and the FDNY for
its support and prayers.
46, had just led a group of
firefighters into the
burning attic of 39 Van
Buren at 12:28 a.m. Sunday
when part of a ceiling
collapsed and dislodged his
breathing apparatus. He was
pulled from the house almost
immediately but could not be
couldn't ask for a better
leader of men. He treated
his firefighters as though
they were his own kids,"
said Capt. John Graziano at
the wake. "That was one of
his pet drills, actually,
firefighter removal. We're
going to be bonding for a
The FDNY has created
a fund to help pay for the education expenses
for Robert and Kathleen Ryan's four children.
Please direct donations to the "Robert Ryan
Children's Educational Fund" and send them to:
FDNY Foundation, 9 Metrotech Center,
Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Here at the City
testified a few
minutes ago that
hours of 6 p.m.
to 9 a.m.--a
which ones. It
is “still doing
the City Council
members at the
Night hours are
said,“We can get
much faster at
In response to
he would still
have to shutter
“If we get the
income from the
taxes, we can’t
now use that to
fund other items
to an increased
tax on fire
he hopes Albany
to be approved
by the City
Jr., said he was
glad to hear
he'd have to
weigh in on the
he'd like to
UPDATE: “Well, I
think the mayor
has been very
the support he’s
perks like more
“We have a very
with City Hall
and that means a
with the mayor.
The fact that
he’s going to be
here, we think,
for five years
instead of one
more year, is a
thing, for the
and for the
When I asked if
said, “Oh, I
mean, I think
way ahead of
just trying to
get through this
veteran FDNY lieutenant
hailed as a "fireman's
fireman" was killed
Sunday when a ceiling
collapsed on him as he
battled a surging blaze
inside a Staten Island
Robert Ryan's mask and
air supply were knocked
off by the falling
debris, which sent him
crashing to the floor
without protection from
the swirling, choking
Carried out by fellow
unconscious Ryan, 46,
was rushed to Richmond
Center, where frantic
doctors tried in vain to
save the devoted father
will be sorely missed,"
said a shaken Capt.
Brian Gorman, Ryan's
commanding officer at
Engine 155. "He was a
fireman's fireman. ...
He did everything for
Ryan, a 17-year veteran
of the FDNY, bravely led
the first unit of
firefighters into the
two-story home at 39 Van
Buren St. in New
Brighton at 12:32 a.m.,
less than four minutes
after being dispatched.
group stretched a hose
into the building to
quickly get water on the
fire, which had ignited
in the attic and seared
a hole through its
Ryan and the other men
were on the home's
second floor when the
ceiling above them -
weakened by the
fast-moving flames -
suddenly gave way>>>
veteran Fire Department
lieutenant killed as he
battled a Staten Island
blaze could easily have
retired two years ago
after being badly burned
- but instead fought his
way back to active duty
to continue doing the
job he loved.
Robert Ryan Jr., 46,
refused to stay out of
sustaining severe burns
to his neck in October
2006 when melted plastic
ate through his
protective gear. Ryan
died early yesterday
morning when the burning
ceiling of a New
Brighton home collapsed
was all patched up from
the burns at that time,
but he wasn't going to
retire, no way,"
recalled fire union vice
president Jim McGowan.
"I don't think it was
even a question for
"His attitude was that
he was one of the guys,
and he was coming back,"
McGowan said. "You could
tell, talking to him,
that after the injury he
was coming back."
FDNY said the 17-year
injury came while he was
subbing for another
firefighter, working at
a house other than his
regular one, and he was
burned while stretching
a hose into a
three-story building on
73rd Street in Brooklyn.
Rather than run from the
building to treat his
injuries, Ryan had his
colleagues turn the
high-powered hose on his
neck and then continued
to battle the blaze.
almost a year to the
day, he was back on
Two years ago, while he battled a raging Brooklyn inferno, globs of plastic from a melting smoke detector fell onto FDNY Lt. Robert Ryan's neck, causing pain so intense he had to be treated with a fellow firefighter's hose.
The severe burns to Ryan's neck required him to spend weeks in the Staten Island University Hospital Burn Center, and some of his colleagues and relatives wondered if the father of four would have to walk away from the job he loved.
Ryan never wavered, and his unrelenting love for the FDNY led him back to the firehouse a year later and, early Sunday, placed him in harm's way beneath a burning ceiling on Staten Island.
"Nothing was going to take him out of this job," said his brother-in-law Victor Iacovano, "except for when God called him to His side."
"There was never a bad thing you could say about Bobby Ryan," Iacovano said as he fought back tears>>>
The news came as a cruel coincidence Sunday to the wives of fallen firefighters at their annual holiday gathering: Their ranks had just grown by one.
Lt. Robert Ryan, a 17-year FDNY veteran, was killed in a Staten Island fire hours before the event, leaving behind his wife, Kathleen, and four children.
Ryan's loss haunted a day that was set up after 9/11 to build a sense of support and camaraderie for the women and their children.
"It brought me to tears. It's so ironic that it was today," said Tina Bilcher, widow of FDNY Firefighter Brian Bilcher, who was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. "I definitely feel the sadness in the air. ... Widows don't need to know each other. We know the pain."
And how best to help.
"The first thing that came to mind was to hug each other and say, 'Again,'" said Heloiza Asaro, whose firefighter husband, Carl Asaro, also died in the attacks.
"They are going to be in our prayers, and we are here for them, anything that we can do."
The event by the Uniformed Firefighters Association takes place each year at the Times Square Toys "R" Us, which volunteered to host the party after 9/11. Children get donated toys, a chance to ride the famed Ferris wheel and a photo with Santa.
"Their fathers are not here, but for a little while they're going to forget that," said FDNY Chief of Department Sal Cassano. "This is our lifeline. Why we have such a strong department is because our family ties."
Cassano was at the fire that killed Ryan and spoke yesterday morning with his widow.
"Every need, she will be taken care of," Cassano vowed.
A fast-moving fire consumed much of a Bronx block Sunday night, leaving 40 people homeless.
More than 130 firefighters battled the raging 6:45 p.m. blaze that moved down Rogers Place in the Longwood section.
The fire began on the first floor of 952 Rogers Place and quickly engulfed the whole three-story building, fire officials said.
Flames rapidly spread to two homes next-door.
"It was an orange ball of fire," said Maximindo Diodonet, who ushered his family from their smoldering second-floor apartment as smoke filled the home. "I just turned around, and my wife started screaming, 'Let's get out of here.'"
Diodonet, 41, and his three kids ran safely out into the frigid night air.
The FDNY reported no serious injuries during the 75-minute fire.
But at least three firefighters were taken to Jacobi Medical Center for minor injuries.
The fire left 40 people homeless. They sat in a parked city bus waiting for instruction from the Red Cross on what to do next.
"Now I am trapped outside," said Shamecka Morrison, 24, who fled 954 Rogers Place wearing just a T-shirt and a towel.
A neighbor gave her a jacket. "They won't even let me go and get my cat," she said. "I want my cat."
Staten Island saw it's deadliest, most
violent seven-minute span in recent memory early
Sunday morning when two people, including a
veteran fire lieutenant, died in fires in New
Brighton and Tompkinsville and a Clifton teen
was wounded after being shot at a party.
The clock had barely passed midnight when a
fire broke out at 39 Van Buren St. in New
Brighton and Fire Lt. Robert Ryan rushed in to
help extinguish the flames in the attic. He
never made it out. When the roof collapsed on
top of him, it knocked the helmet from his head
and his breathing mask from his face sending him
into immediate cardiac arrest. He was pronounced
dead at Richmond University Medical Center. Read
the Deborah Young's story>>>
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG AND
COMMISSIONER SCOPPETTA ANNOUNCE THE
DEATH OF LIEUTENANT ROBERT J. RYAN JR.
Michael Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner
Nicholas Scoppetta announced that
Lieutenant Robert J. Ryan Jr. of Staten
Island died today at Richmond University
Medical Center of Staten Island, where
he was taken early this morning after he
sustained injuries while operating at a
2nd Alarm fire at 39 Van Buren St., in
the New Brighton neighborhood of Staten
Lieutenant Ryan, 46, was assigned to
Engine 155 for over two years. He was a
veteran of the department for more than
17 years, appointed to the FDNY on April
14, 1991. He was previously assigned to
Engines 228, 280 and 282 in Brooklyn,
Engine 6 in Manhattan, the 4th Battalion
in Manhattan and the 22nd Battalion in
Staten Island. He was promoted to the
rank of Lieutenant in March 2001.
Lieutenant Ryan was on duty when Engine
155 was called to the scene of a fire at
a two-story private residence at 39 Van
Buren St. in Staten Island at 12:28 a.m.
today. Engine 155 was the first unit on
scene, arriving at 12:32 a.m. The fire
was brought under control at 1:31 a.m.
Lieutenant Ryan, a lifelong Staten
Island resident, is survived by his
wife, Kathleen; a son, Chris, 17; a
daughter, Kayla, 12; a stepson, Alex,
10; and a stepdaughter, Emma, 8.
"To see firemen
on the ground, you don't usually see that," FDNY
Chief John Plant said. "They couldn't even help
one another, they were pretty banged up. It was
pretty shocking to see."
dozen firefighters were
injured last night, five
seriously - including
the first woman in the
department's history to
join an elite rescue
squad - when a pair of
fire trucks collided in
Ladder 12 was shooting
down Seventh Avenue at
6:30 p.m. when it
smashed into the Squad
18 truck, which was
headed east on West 10th
Street in Greenwich
Both units were rushing
to a call that later
proved to be a false
"The [Squad 18] truck
that hit the pole caught
on fire and they pulled
out one firefighter who
looked pretty banged
up," said a witness who
declined to give his
companies were both
responding to a call
from an automatic alarm
that went off at Grove
Street and Waverly Place
- about a block away -
when they collided.
Officials said the
accident was likely
caused by the trucks
driving in an unusual
pattern because they
weren't coming from
When Jamel Sears' wife
and his Fire Academy
classmates first met, it
seemed like they already
knew each other well
because Sears had spoken
so often and
affectionately of one to
firefighters knew Sears'
two kids ranked at the
top of their class in
private school, his wife
Sherita was an NYPD
officer in the South
Bronx, the family loved
Walt Disney World and
Sherita Sears knew the
three probies and her
husband had formed the
"council," a tight-knit
band. Sears' grit helped
them get through tough
drills, his wit got them
in trouble with the
Sears' cherished family
and his adopted
brotherhood melded in
sadness last week after
he died, at 33, during a
fire training exercise.
was a gentleman, and
family meant everything
to him," his wife wrote
in a tribute. "All he
wanted was a secure,
successful future for
was a dad who danced to
Hannah Montana tunes
with his little girl,
Jya, 7, and played NBA
Live video games
endlessly with his son,
Mahlek, 11. He built
sandcastles with them.
Sears was the face of
the changing FDNY, part
of a class that made
department history for
having the largest
number of black,
Hispanic, Asian and
female probies. More
than a third of the
297-member class are
Sears' death was a sad
FDNY milestone. "We
never lost a probie in
Scoppetta said. "The
class was stunned, but
none has dropped out.
Jamel has been an
inspiration to them to
More than 100 frantic
birds, reptiles and small animals died
trapped in their cages Wednesday when fire
raged through a Bronx pet shop.
The blazing end to
Stephanie and Amanda's Pet Center on
Southern Blvd., a favorite attraction for
kids in their Morrisania neighborhood, sent
its owner home in tears when he realized
almost all was lost.
"He couldn't take it.
He just couldn't stay and watch what was
happening," said 52-year-old Joel Rivera,
who manages the shop for his cousin, David
"He's been here 30
years and all of a sudden, it's all gone.
His business, the animals, all gone. Maybe
we can start all over again," he said,
wiping away tears with the back of his hand.
A dry cleaner and a
photo shop next to the pet shop also burned
down, and a nearby five-story apartment
building was evacuated but sustained only
minor damage. No one in the buildings was
Rivera said many of the
140 firefighters summoned to the three-alarm
blaze risked their lives to save as many of
the doomed creatures - parrots, parakeets,
rabbits, guinea pigs, lizards and other
reptiles, at least two cats and a pair of
guard dogs - as they could.
"I got the lizards and
they got two of our three macaws," which
were worth $2,000 each, he said. "They tried
to get other animals out, but they couldn't.
There were too many cages, maybe 50 to 60,
and too much fire."
"I'll miss them, all of
them," Rivera said. "I used to play with the
parrots. I'd put them on my shoulder. I was
with them all the time. And the rabbits, all
the kids around here loved them. They used
to come in and take their pictures."...>>>
“He was so
dedicated, if you went to a fire, he probably
would have said, ‘Sit down, I’ll put it out.’”
NY Daily News &
FDNY Insider 11/19/08
loved ones stood
in the biting
cold Tuesday to
Sears for the
man he was - and
for all he might
have been had
lived to fulfill
Sherita, a city
flinch as Sears'
coffin into the
sister Jya, 7,
wore her dad's
blue FDNY cap
atop her braids.
Sears, 33, is
the first FDNY
probie to die in
collapsed at the
Fire Academy on
Nov. 10 and died
the next day.
The cause of
"I'm sure that
here today ...
it feels like
the whole world
is wrong," said
young don't die,
the strong don't
fall and to part
with Jamel when
he was just at
the beginning of
a new life, so
full of promise,
seems too great
a burden to
said Sears "was
a man destined
to serve others
... we'll never
know what kind
of career he
would have had,
but we will
always know he
was Mahlek's, in
when I heard the
news I was a
little sad but
now I have to
and position as
the man of the
house and accept
your death. I
wish you good
luck for your
Sears and his
U.S. Navy man
joined the FDNY
firefighter Thomas Conforti
was celebrating his fifth
wedding anniversary with his
wife in Arizona when he had
to spring into action to
help someone in need.
Conforti, 30, of Huntington
Station, rushed to Rockney
Herring's rescue after the
1967 Piper Cherokee Herring
was piloting suffered engine
problems and crashed shortly
after takeoff near the
vacation town of Sedona,
Ariz., authorities said.
The crash Thursday evening
killed two of Herring's
cousins, who along with
Herring had been on a
sightseeing trip and had
just taken off for a return
flight to Phoenix, local
police said. Herring, 51, of
Texas, was able to crawl
about 60 feet from the
wreckage before Conforti
Herring is in a Phoenix
hospital recovering from
severe burns over much of
nothing but admiration for
the guy," Coconino County
sheriff's spokesman Gerry
Blair said of Conforti.
"Whether he saved the guy's
life, I cannot say, but he
went above and beyond what a
normal person or even an
off-duty firefighter would
much you want to bet
that New Yorkers will
see the New Year - or
maybe Easter - before
they see the results of
the criminal probe into
the deaths of two
firefighters at the
former Deutsche Bank
building 15 months ago?
Manhattan DA Robert
Morgenthau said this
week that a final report
from his office won't be
ready for several weeks.
office tends to take an
expansive view of the
May, Morgenthau said he
was pushing to wrap up
the investigation in
time for the first
anniversary of the fatal
August 2007 Ground Zero
Beddia and Joseph
thanks to a cut
anniversary came and
went, and the DA's
office then said it
would be done within "a
Sense a pattern?
Morgenthau claims the
case is complex, which
no doubt it is.
that's what DA's are
for - to untangle
complex cases while
delivering justice in an
Again, it's been 15
months since a fire that
not only killed two of
New York's Bravest, but
also gummed up Ground
Zero reconstruction -
and New Yorkers still
have little clue who was
“The icing on the cake is the steel
coming up,” said Lou Mendes, the vice
president of the memorial for design and
construction. “People will look at it
and say, ‘Oh, my God — construction’s
all the right angles
that have been built at
ground zero in the last
three years, of all the
places where steel meets
steel at 90 degrees,
there is no more
meaningful angle right
now than the one poised
high over the PATH
tracks near Fulton
visibly defines one
corner of the north pool
of the National
September 11 Memorial
and Museum and,
therefore, one corner of
the outline of 1 World
Trade Center — a void
left in the city fabric
after the attack of
Sept. 11, 2001.
“Sculptors talk about
how the sculpture is
already in the stone and
all they’re doing is
chipping away at it,”
said Michael Arad, the
architect who won the
competition in 2004,
with the landscape
architect Peter Walker.
“This is the opposite.
Our void is already
there. It’s there in the
sky. And we’re building
“It’s great to see the
beginning to emerge,” he
is currently the
practice at the trade
pass quietly, with
little public notice or
fanfare. But they are no
less important to those
see the actual framing
of the void is a major
step in filling in the
wound,” said Joseph C.
Daniels, the president
and chief executive of
the memorial and museum,
as he looked across
ground zero on Oct. 31,
toward the embryonic
north pool and the
framework that has begun
to define the south
pool, the site of 2
World Trade Center.
“This is the basic
structure of the
memorial,” Mr. Daniels
said. “So it’s a big
firefighters filled the apparatus floor
and lined the stairs of Engine 88 and
Ladder 38 as the company celebrated its
centennial on Nov. 17.
Department is built on two foundations -
bravery and devotion to family and
tradition,” said Fire Commissioner
Nicholas Scoppetta. “In that way, the
members of Engine 88 and Ladder 38 are
among the best of the best.”
Members of the
company have won more than 20 medals
through the years, and numerous
citations for bravery.
“You set a high
standard for other companies to meet,”
said Chief of Department Salvatore
Cassano. “Your commitment, honor,
bravery, service and dedication have
allowed the Department to maintain its
FDNY Foundation graciously accepted a
$40,000 check from Bank of America on
Nov. 15 in the West Village of
Former football quarterback Boomer
Esiason was on hand to present the
check, half of which will support the
members of Squad 18 and half of which
will be allocated for the FDNY
Foundation scholarship program.
“This donation will ensure that our
members will continue to have
educational and training opportunities,”
said Assistant Chief James Esposito.
“This will help us grow even stronger.”
Esiason, who has played for the Jets,
Bengals and Cardinals and now serves as
a football analyst, said he has numerous
friends in the FDNY. He fondly
remembered his childhood friend, Lt.
Howard Carpluk, who made the Supreme
Sacrifice while operating at a Bronx
fire in 2006, as well as many others who
died on Sept. 11...more>
a burger from the grill in her backyard, Caitlin
Langone, 17, flops onto a chair. Her brother
Brian, 15, carefully trims a piece of fat from a
"That's exactly how your father did it," JoAnn
Langone tells her son. "Cutting up food into
little pieces. Just like a Langone."
Tommy Langone has been gone for five years, but
at moments like this, he seems to be back. Or
when Brian moves his hands while speaking. Or
when Caitlin talks in great bursts, barely
pausing for a breath.
"Slow down, Caitlin," her mom says. Or the way
both kids perk up whenever they hear a siren.
"Ambulance," they announce in unison. Sometimes
it's so far away that their mom can't hear
anything, and they have to tell her how it
At the Langone house, time is divided -- before
Sept. 11 and after. Before the collapse of the
Twin Towers that killed their father, a police
officer, and their uncle, Peter Langone, a
firefighter, Caitlin and Brian use to love
dinnertime. Tommy, who specialized in rescue
work, would come home to Williston Park and
delight them with tales of saving people from
car crashes and elevator accidents.
He would chatter away in rapid volleys even as
he listened to a scanner, monitoring emergency
calls. In his spare time, he was chief of the
volunteer Roslyn Rescue Fire Co. Peter also
volunteered in Roslyn.
After Sept. 11, the house became eerily still.
No one listened to the scanner. Dispatchers
stopped calling at odd hours. Dinners ended
Caitlin and Brian Langone are two of the 2,172
minor children who lost a parent in the World
Trade Center. Like the others, they have had to
grow up with a tragedy that every stranger knows
about and that keeps replaying on TV and in
New York City Fire Department held its annual "bio-pod" drill
yesterday to prepare for a biological outbreak. During the
simulation, firefighters practiced inoculating members of the
department quickly and efficiently. A flu vaccine was
administered at nine stations and three mobile units throughout
the city. Retired and off-duty members of the department were
covered as well. "We're also offering vaccines today to our
off-duty and retired members, particularly to our retirees
who've been exposed to the World Trade Center and who might need
this flu vaccination because of their respiratory problems,"
said FDNY Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kerry Kelly. A computer
system was set up to track each station's up-to-the-minute
status on the vaccinations. The exercise began after the
September 11th terror attacks and is now in its sixth year.
responded to a
fire at 474
Greene Avenue in
details, as a
well known crack
house that has
operation for at
least 3 years,"
even trying to
work with the
office, NYPD and
leaders "to no
there had been a
late night party
and pointed out
the windows of
had been covered
"Clearly we are
all in immediate
crack." The fire
was put out and
Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta
will join family, friends and
Fire Department members in
paying their final respects to
Firefighter Jamel M. Sears.
Firefighter Sears, 33, collapsed
while at the FDNY Training
Academy on November 10. He was
transported to Mt. Sinai
Hospital where he died on
November 11. Firefighter Sears
began his training at the
Academy on July 1, 2008.
Unity Funeral Chapels,
2352 Eighth Ave.
New York, NY 10027
Monday, November 17,
2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Bethel Gospel Assembly
2-26 E. 120th St.
New York, NY 10035
(Between Fifth and
The USS NEW YORK
Commissioning Committee, Governor David
Paterson and Mayor Michael Bloomberg today
announced the commissioning date of USS NEW
YORK as Saturday November 7, 2009 in New
York Harbor. The Commissioning ceremony,
which marks the official entrance of the
ship into the U.S. Navy fleet, will take
place at the INTREPID Pier.
Named for the State of
New York, the ship is currently completing
construction in Louisiana and features the
most advanced military technology. It is
unique in that approximately 7.5 tons of
steel from the ruins of the World Trade
Center has been forged into its bow.
The two officials made
the announcement on Veterans Day at
ceremonies in New York City. The Chairman of
the USS NEW YORK Commissioning Committee is
John A. Thain, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer of Merrill Lynch.
of USS NEW YORK in New York City a year
from now will be a proud and defining
moment for all New Yorkers," said
Governor Paterson at the Intrepid Museum
during Official Opening Day ceremonies.
"Steel from the World Trade Center
forged into the bow of the ship and
naming the ship for New York is an
extraordinary tribute to the lives lost
that day and a distinct representation
of the spirit of all New Yorkers."
announced the Commissioning date at a
Veterans Day reception at Gracie
Mansion, and said "New Yorkers will
never forget the courage and sacrifice
of all the men and women who have served
our country and USS NEW YORK is going to
be another powerful symbol of the deeply
personal connection that New Yorkers
have to the fight in which our military
is now engaged."
As chairman of the
USS NEW YORK Commissioning Committee,
Thain heads a group of civic minded New
Yorkers and New York corporations in
planning and conducting welcoming events
and also establishing a USS NEW YORK
Foundation that benefits the crew and
The ship will
arrive in New York City on November 2,
2009, when USS NEW YORK will be open for
public visiting during the commissioning
week, culminating in the November 7
invitation only commissioning
On April 13, Eddie
was shot twice in his head, once in his
lower jaw and once above his eye. Eddie
was severely wounded and suffered a
brain injury. Now, because prayer is
going strong for our American hero,
Eddie is recovering and doing well.
A group of active
and retired New York City firefighters
are rallying for a Marine sergeant
gravely wounded in Iraq in 2005.
Sgt. Eddie Ryan was
shot twice in the head and flatlined
twice on a rooftop in Iraq. His recovery
has been called miraculous, but he still
needs round-the-clock care.
After the Veterans
Administration stopped paying for Ryan's
physical therapy, retired Firefighter
Joe Morstatt pulled together volunteers
to travel to Ryan's Sullivan County home
and help with some basic physical
open talks with
Wednesday in a
bid to settle
claims that old
suit filed last
year in Brooklyn
written tests in
1999 and 2002
Act. The exams
were not "job
feds said, and
them at far
The FDNY offered
a new written
exam in 2007 but
this year to
list of one test
the suit says.
both sides into
court today to
try and reach an
"A key element
of the relief
States seeks is
to be awarded to
in a Nov. 7
The city will
try to settle
the suit even
"wrong" and once
By reaching a
deal, the FDNY
losing in court
and having a
changes in its
The suit could
lead to the
Mann, who is
denied a request
union is worried
could arise as a
"We haven't been
far, but we'll
find out if the
Society of black
Firefighter Sears, 33, was appointed to the FDNY
on July 1, 2008, and was enrolled in the 23-week
Probationary Firefighters Training Program. He
fell unconscious at about 11:30 a.m. after
successfully completing an 18-minute training
exercise where he donned full firefighting gear
and performed a series of tasks and functional
skills. Firefighters on scene tried to revive
him but he never regained consciousness.
NY Daily News &
FDNY Insider 11/12/08
FDNY probie who had
collapsed during a
training exercise at the
Fire Academy died
Tuesday night at Mount
Sinai Medical Center, an
FDNY spokesman said.
Jamel Sears died just
before 10 p.m. as his
grieving relatives sat
at his bedside, family
was ups and downs," said
his niece Daeja Ramseur,
17. Ramseur, told of her
uncle's death at her
home in South Carolina,
sobbed as she described
how much he valued
becoming an firefighter.
Ramseur said she last
saw Sears this summer
when he excitedly
explained his passion
for joining the FDNY.
was just so energetic.
It was always his
dream," she said.
firefighter was wearing
100 pounds of gear and
had just completed an
18-minute drill at the
FDNY training academy on
Randall's Island when he
Officials said Sears
joined the department in
July. He served four
years in the U.S. Navy
during the late 1990s
and worked as a
rep and as a KeySpan
Sears is survived by his
wife, Sherita Sears - a
city cop in the 41st
Precinct - and their two
children, son Mahlek,
12, and daughter Jya, 8.
'Heroes of September ' Exhibit is on Display at
the New York City Fire Museum
Golbin, a retired FDNY
lieutenant from West
Brighton, is helping
firefighters in a creative
watercolor exhibit, "Heroes
of September," has been on
display at the New York City
Fire Museum since Sept. 5,
and formally and
appropriately opened on
8 at the
Rocco D'Erasmo, owner of
New York Digital Print
Center in Whitestone,
usually spends November
taking orders for
this year, he'll spend
the season cleaning up
his shop and replacing
destroyed by a two-alarm
fire that ripped through
the Whitestone Shopping
Center last weekend.
"It's going to be tough
to recoup, especially in
this economy," said
D'Erasmo, who has run
the store for 19 years.
sadness turned to anger
when fire marshals
arrested a 42-year-old
Whitestone man on
Thursday for arson in
connection with the
Michael Trantel broke
into the Lollipops Diner
in the early morning
hours of Nov. 2 to steal
cigarettes and then set
a fire, authorities
thought it was an
fire gutted the diner
and burst through the
windows. It traveled
along the mall's facade,
damaging several other
stores, including a
liquor store, two banks
and a General Nutrition
Chief Fire Marshal
Robert Byrne said
Trantel had a history of
arson. He had previously
been arrested for
burglarizing and then
setting fire to a
hardware store on
Francis Lewis Blvd. in
February 2007. A few
months later, Byrne said
Trantel torched a car
during a dispute with
the retired firefighter, lives across the
street. He rushed into
through the back door, found the woman and
carried her out.
A predawn fire sent a
family of six to the hospital for treatment of
smoke inhalation, the fire chief said.
A woman in the house was
rescued by neighbor who is a retired New York
Five of the family members
got out of the burning home but a woman was
trapped inside. Craig Giuffre, the retired
firefighter, lives across the street. He rushed
into the house through the back door, found the
woman and carried her out.
None of the injuries were
thought to be life-threatening but further
details were not available at 7 a.m.
The family members were all
taken to Danbury, Conn., Hospital. The family
had moved into the cottage-style home at 34
Ashburton Road from the Bronx on Saturday. The
U-Haul was still in the driveway this morning.
By the time firefighters
arrived at home shortly before 4 a.m., flames
were already shooting through the roof, Lake
Carmel Fire Chief Edward Schaeffler Jr. said.
No firefighters were
injured. The fire began in the living room area,
the chief said. A cause had not been determined.
In addition to Lake Carmel,
volunteers from Carmel, Patterson, Brewster and
Kent companies were at the scene.
Faced with a city deficit
that is estimated to reach $4 billion by 2010,
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans
Wednesday to shut down five engine companies
during night hours come January. The mayor said
such a measure would save money, but did not
explain exactly how.
“I would like to have a
fire house on every street, I would like to have
an engine and a ladder in every one of those,
but that's not the real world,” said Bloomberg.
Fire engine companies put
water on a fire and respond to medical
emergencies, while fire ladder companies conduct
search and rescue operations. There are more
engine companies than ladder companies in the
city, and their total of 198 companies means
that they are more closely clustered.
The mayor said that if one
engine is shut overnight, another one nearby can
respond without having much of an effect on
“The whole idea is to
minimize operational impact. We can't say it
will have absolutely none but we want it to have
as insignificant an impact as is possible,” said
Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta.
The commissioner said the
aim would be to keep the closings out of
But President Jack
McDonnell of the Uniformed Fire Officers
Association warned Wednesday that closing
firehouses over night in the winter will pose a
serious threat to public safety.
“An engine company closing
down in a neighborhood is going to decrease the
medical response in that community and also the
fire protection in that community,” said
Renuart, head of
(NORAD) met with
Cassano and many
and chiefs on
Nov. 6 to
and Chief of
told the general
about the FDNY’s
The two groups
also spoke about
ways to further
the military and
similar to the
who is based at
Force Base in
needs states may
have and put
developed in the
Sept. 11, to
waters out to
is to build
play a role in
General, is a
we faced before
Trantel, 42, of
Whitestone was arrested
November 6 after an
investigation by the New
York City Fire
Department (FDNY) into a
November 2 fire at a
Whitestone strip mall at
153-31 Cross Island
Pkwy. at 14th Avenue.
The second-alarm fire,
reported at 1:10 a.m.,
gutted the Lolli Pop
Diner and damaged
several adjacent stores.
The fire originated in
the diner. Fire marshals
allege that Trantel
stole cigarettes from
the diner and then
started the fire to
conceal the burglary.
Trantel has been
arrested on charges of
mischief, burglary and
FDNY Fire Marshal Robert
McDevitt of Citywide
North Command, assisted
by Fire Marshal Mark
Thompson of the Special
McDevitt responded from
a new fire marshal base
opened in December 2007
at Fort Totten in
Bayside. From that
location, fire marshals
conduct all fire
throughout Queens, The
Bronx and Northern
Manhattan. The Citywide
North Command, staffed
by 37 fire marshals,
eight supervising fire
marshals and a fire
marshal commander, is
located in a recently
landmark building that
once served as quarters
for field officers in
the U.S. Army. With more
manpower and a new base,
the Bureau of Fire
Investigation is able to
increase the overall
number of arrests by
reducing travel time and
allotting more time for
Wall Street revenue dropping and no easy
alternatives at hand New York City Mayor Mike
Bloomberg tomorrow is expected to announce that
in order to close a $4 billion budget gap the
city is cancelling the police academy January
2009 class, cutting 500 jobs in parks and
education, cutting back nighttime operations at
five firehouses and reducing firefighter
training, ABC News has learned.
all, the city will
reduce its workforce by
about 3,000 jobs through
attrition and through
layoffs in an effort to
close a widening budget
gap that is the result
of the crisis in the
financial markets. Wall
Street and related jobs
provide an estimated 20
percent of the city's
Bloomberg, is expected
to explain that the belt
tightening is needed as
the city budget gap
grows to $4 billion for
fiscal 2009 and 2010,
ABC News has learned.
That gap, is now about
$700 million greater
than the estimate from
just a few weeks ago of
confirmed the measures
New York City is taking,
with one administration
official saying that:
"It will reduce the size
of the City workforce by
over 3,000 employees,
through layoffs and the
said that the fiscal
plan update that the
Mayor will present on
Wednesday will show a
budget gap of
approximately $4 billion
for fiscal years 2009
and 2010. The official
said that New York's
mayor will lay out plans
on to close that gap...more>
firefighters and their families gathered
at York College on Nov. 5 to celebrate
the promotion of 68 fire officers.
With members lining
the walls of the auditorium and banners
hanging from the balcony, the crowd
cheered as one member was elevated to
the rank of assistant chief, 26 to the
rank of battalion chief, 26 to the rank
of captain and 15 to the rank of
“You are all moving
on to a new phase in your careers,” said
First Deputy Commissioner Frank Cruthers.
“You have been tested for your promotion
and tested in the field, everything you
have done as a member of the FDNY has
brought you to this day. You have more
than passed muster, you have excelled.”
Among the members
being promoted was Assistant Chief
Richard Tobin, a 30-year veteran who
will help oversee Fire Prevention.
He was promoted
alongside Battalion Chief Jerry Horton,
Jr., who served as the captain of Ladder
146 for more than six years. It was
there he worked closely with Firefighter
Daniel Pujdak, who made the Supreme
Sacrifice in 2007; and the firefighter’s
parents, Leo and Christina, cheered from
the front row as the new chief was sworn
Thomas Reilly, who served with Lt. John
Martinson at Ladder 249 when the
lieutenant was tragically killed in
January, also was among the promoted
“This is the
culmination of a lot of hard work on
your part, and the sacrifices you and
your family have made to get to this
point are greatly appreciated by the
Department,” said Chief of Department
Lance Ogren of
Ladder 25, who has swum across the
Hudson River twice in memory of his twin
brother who was killed on Sept. 11, was
promoted to captain during the ceremony.
James McGlynn of Engine 34, who was one
of the final members pulled from
Stairway B after the collapse of the
World Trade Center, said he was
overjoyed to receive his promotion.
”This is the
culmination of many years of study and
many years of sacrifice,” he said...more>
Construction workers in
Queens had to run for cover as part of the
building they were working on collapsed
Investigators say workers
were pouring concrete on the second floor of the
eight-story building on Curzon Road in Kew
The wet cement caused a
huge chunk of the second floor to crash into the
"We responded to a call of
a major collapse of a building under
construction. We had reports of workers trapped.
When we arrived on the scene our units conducted
a primary search and we found that all the
workers were accounted for," said FDNY Deputy
Chief James Didomenico.
No injuries were reported.
The Department of Buildings
issued a stop-work order on the site.
On Friday, November
14, 2008, the Bureau of Health Services
will be conducting its' annual BIOPOD
drill. This drill is part of the FDNY
Domestic Preparedness initiative to
prepare us to medicate or inoculate if
this were a true biological exposure.
This drill will consist of 9 Stationary
Point of Distribution ('POD') sites and
3 Mobile PODs' throughout the 5 boroughs
of NYC for on-duty personnel.
In past years, this
drill only offered flu vaccine to
on-duty members. However, this year, the
drill has been expanded to offer flu
vaccine to all off-duty members and FDNY
retirees at 4 of our Satellite offices.
Our FDNY retirees
who are part of our World Trade Center
Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program
will be offered a flu vaccine as part of
our ongoing committment to their health
after their work at the World Trade
Center. Both our retirees and off-duty
active members may walk into any of our
offices and show FDNY ID to get a free
flu vaccine as part of our BIOPOD
you've ever had the unfortunate experience of
having firefighters called to your home or
workplace, you'll know they are some very fit
men and women. Who wouldn't want to look like
Kevin Malley says firefighting may be one of the
few professions where being a professional
athlete is a prerequisite. No joke.
"You're constantly slapped in the face with the
extreme physical demands of the job," says
Malley, author of the new book Get
Firefighter Fit (Ulysses, $15.95) and
former director of the New York City Fire
Department's physical training program.
"If you don't keep yourself in shape, you're not
going to be able to contend with the stress.
You're going to get hurt."
Malley divides the physical
requirements of firefighting into four
categories: aerobic capacity, muscular
endurance, strength, and agility and
Aerobic conditioning, he says, is the base for
any kind of fitness, whether you're fighting a
fire or playing basketball. Add weight training
and you build muscular endurance, which will
allow you to do what firefighters do: drag a
hose into position or pull down a ceiling
searching for fire.
"It's muscular endurance," says Malley.
"Firefighters use every major muscle group."...more>
unattended space heater in an
Ocean Breeze bungalow set the
residence ablaze last night,
according to fire officials.
erupted at about 5:40 p.m.
inside the rear bedroom of 731
Buel Ave., a one-story house
measuring approximately 25 feet
by 40 feet.
to run an errand
"I was cooking
dinner when my
son [Robert, 15]
light coming out
42, who lives
next door. He
spied the flames
from his kitchen
to force entry
into the home
and extra fire
called in to
fire, the chief
The fire --
does not appear
under control by
ask for a nicer
guy next door,"
yard with a
from the light
Never-been-seen-before footage of
the collapse of two World Trade
Center buildings was posted Saturday
on the video-sharing website VEOH by
a new user named "Gldbr." The
footage clearly shows the collapse
of 7 WTC and 1 WTC, the north tower
as filmed from the roof of a
building in or near the World
Financial Center complex to the
northwest of the WTC complex.
Neither film contains any sound and
it is unclear if they were shot with
the same camera.
Conspiracy-theorists are already
claiming these videos show the
explosions of small "squibs,"
resulting in the "demolition" of the
buildings. The videos do clearly
show the collapses from a new
perspective and the video of the
north tower shows the core of the
building remained for several
seconds before it, too, disappeared
in the dust.
Leave it to New York's
Bravest to turn up the
heat in a cooking
contest to benefit
their culinary skills
against celebrity chefs
at Strata Monday night
during the seventh
annual Iron Skillet Cook
Off. Firefighter Jimmy
Lowe of Ladder 33 in the
Bronx bested chef Brian
Primehouse New York to
win Best Dish, which was
chosen by a panel of
started cooking when I
became a fireman and I'm
said Lowe, a firefighter
for 17 years.
two finalists went head
to head with their flank
steak pinwheels as more
than 500 guests gathered
alongside the judges,
who included New York
Giants running back
Reuben Droughns and Tom
Westman, a winner of
to sample 10 dishes
prepared by five Bravest
and five top city chefs.
event raised funds for
World Cares Center, a
nonprofit dedicated to
disaster response teams
throughout the country.
Droughns gave Lowe rave
love to cook and the
flank steak was my
said. "I ate about eight
Other judges included
actor Tony LoBianco,
former New Jersey Devils
hockey star Grant
Marshall and CW11
morning news anchor
Sukanya Krishnan. The
were Jeff Wallen, Paul
Rut, Sky Shepard and
was the second year in a
row in which a
firefighter won. Lowe
said he is accustomed to
feeding a tougher crowd
than the judges.
cook for the guys when
I'm on shift," he said.
"The boys know they'll
eat well when it's my
Jets' most famous
supporter, Ed Anzalone
is appalled and
disappointed that his
beloved team is
requiring most its fan
base to purchase
personal seat licenses.
After months of holding
his tongue, Anzalone, a
season ticket holder
since 1976, is ready to
stand up and boo.
love the New York Jets,
I love the green and
white and I love the
fans - I have nothing
but passion for the fans
and the team - but the
continued to drop the
ball," Anzalone said.
a phone interview, which
included a lengthy rant
against owner Woody
Johnson for his decision
to co-own the new
stadium with the Giants,
Anzalone claimed the
Jets are ripping off the
"This is pathetic," says
Anzalone, who owns four
seats in section 134,
where the PSL would be
$10,000 or $12,500 per
seat. "I'm so twisted by
the fact that they went
with the Giants to begin
with. Now you're going
to have the (audacity)
to charge your fans
Anzalone, a stadium icon
known for leading the
Jets! Jets! Jets!"
cheer, says he pays full
price for his tickets.
for how much longer?
"You won't see me in
these seats (in the new
stadium)," said Anzalone,
49, who retired last
year from the city's
fire department. "I
don't know what's going
to happen. Maybe I'll go
upstairs. Maybe I'll
fork over four grand for
an end-zone seat. I
love the Jets so much,
maybe I'll get my
tickets on Stub Hub.
just want to enjoy this
year and next," he
continued. "Maybe, with
a little of God's luck,
we'll win a
championship. If that
happens, I'm moving on,
New York City
firefighter Robert McCaffrey visited
Fort Discovery Day Care in Middletown to
demonstrate what children should do
during a fire. His 2-year-old daughter,
Emma, is a student at the school.
several lifesaving procedures, including
the "Stop, Drop and Roll" method of
extinguishing a fire on a person's
clothing, and how to crawl under the
smoke in a burning building to reach an
exit. McCaffrey also emphasized the
importance of families having and
practicing an escape plan inside their
McCaffrey wore his
full firefighting regalia because he
wanted the students to understand that
there's a real person underneath the
protective clothing and mask that
firefighters wear. A real fire is
frightening enough, he said, without
children being afraid of their rescuers,
Long - founder
I Will Foundation - said he ran the marathon
in part to inspire other victims
injuries. He also wanted to send a message to
the bus that struck him: "I won."
NY Post 11/3/08
death three years ago
completed his triumphant
comeback yesterday by
running all 26.2 miles
of the New York City
Matthew Long crossed the
finish line in Central
Park, fell to his knees,
and did celebratory
pushups to the wild
cheers of loved ones.
"The finish line was the
best!" said Long, who
nearly died three years
ago when a bus ran over
him, crushing his
pelvis, leg and arm, as
he biked to work during
the transit strike.
"I'm tired, but I feel
fulfilled crossing the
finish line for the
first time in three
Long, an Upper East
Sider, finished in 7
hours, 21 minutes and 22
Long's story was among
many tales of personal
triumph for the 38,377
runners who started the
annual race - won by
Marilson Gomes dos
Santos of Brazil, in his
second New York City
Marathon win in three
When Stanley Smagala Jr.
saw the dinner table set
for three, he asked his
wife, Dena, 31, "Who's
coming?" She handed him
a baby's bib inscribed
with the words "I Love
Daddy." Now the empty
place at the Smagala
table in Holbrook, N.Y.,
is Stanley's. Nearly
four months before
daughter Alexa Faith was
born on Jan. 9, he died
when the Twin Towers
Alexa Smagala never met her father.
That didn't stop the 6-year-old from scrawling, "I love my Daddy" on the soon-to-be-retired Brooklyn fire truck Stanley Smagala rode to his death on 9/11.
Alexa visited Engine Co. 226, in Boerum Hill, yesterday with the families of other fallen firemen to say farewell to the truck. It is expected to be retired by the end of the year.
"(Alexa) knows he died a hero saving people; he loved her and was looking forward to being her daddy," said Alexa's mother, Dena Smagala, of Holbrook, L.I.
"It was sad but wonderful," said Lorraine DeRubbio, of Brooklyn, whose husband, David DeRubbio, 38, perished alongside Stanley Smagala. "I got to sit in the seat where he was for the last time."
Four Engine 226 firemen died on Sept. 11, 2001. Debris smashed the front of the fire truck and windows were blown out.
Only the driver, Tommy Casatelli, survived. Lt. Robert Wallace and Brian McAleese also died.
Dena Smagala was 5 months pregnant with Alexa when she learned her 36-year-old husband had ran into the south tower of the World Trade Center just before it collapsed.
His remains were never recovered.
Alexa wears a picture of her husband around her neck, Dena said.
"She'll say 'My daddy's in heaven,'" she said. "'He fights fires in heaven.'"
Rips Through 7 Businesses, Including Hugely
Popular Lollipops Diner
A fire broke out just after
one o'clock Sunday morning and it was
devastating, as a local landmark is among the
stores that were destroyed.
The fire ripped through the Whitestone Shopping
Center in Queens. The intense flames damaged
seven businesses, including two banks, and
destroyed the popular Lollipops Diner.
"I grew up in this neighborhood and it's a shame
to see, especially for Lollipops," Queens
resident Jill Nicholetti said. "It's a shame for
all the stores. Lollipops is an institution,
it's been here 30 years."
Fire investigators say the blaze started inside
the diner and tore through a half-dozen stores
in the shopping center, all the way down to the
"The fire spread down the row of stores outside,
underneath an awning, and broke many of the
windows all the way down to the corner," FDNY
Deputy Fire Chief John Malkin said.
The owner of Lollipops was too upset to talk.
Next door, the owner of King's Chef is worried
he'll lose a lot of money.
"I cannot open because of whatever rules –
tomorrow's Monday, Tuesday is a holiday,"
Patrick Chan, owner of King's Chef, said. "If I
cannot get them to come tomorrow, I am going to
lose big time."
"I am devastated by this whole thing," Queens
resident Louise Pamblano said. "I have a friend
who owns the print center over there."
As crews boarded up stores, local leaders
promised to help these businesses reopen
"This is a calamity for many of these small
businesses to be out of business, particularly
in this economy," State Sen. Frank Padavan said.
Officials say that fire marshals will continue
their investigation into the cause of this fire
through the night.
A firefighter and an
off-duty police officer rescued a Monroe woman
from the scene of a crash just before her car
went up in flames Saturday, a fire official
Woodbury village fire Chief Dominick Prozzillo
said one of his volunteer firefighters, James
Reilly, who is also a New York City firefighter,
arrived at the scene of a fiery crash at around
12:20 p.m. Saturday on Route 105. A black
Volkswagen Beetle had apparently collided with a
dark Volkswagen GTI, Prozzillo said.
The driver of the GTI, Robert Murphy of Monroe,
managed to escape, as did his two younger
sisters, from their flaming vehicle, Prozzillo
But the other driver, Amy Kaufman, 49, of
Monroe, was trapped inside her damaged Beetle,
which was also in danger of catching fire.
Reilly got out of his car to assist the victim
and was quickly joined by an off-duty Town of
Woodbury police officer, William Burbage, who
was also driving by.
The two pulled Kaufman from her car just before
the flames from the GTI ignited it, Prozzillo
Murphy was flown to Westchester Medical Center
in Valhalla with leg injuries, while his two
sisters and Kaufman were taken to the Arden Hill
Campus of Orange Regional Medical Center in
Goshen for treatment. None appeared to have
life-threatening injuries, Prozzillo said.
The details of the crash remain under
The first thing that hits
you about the New York is the enclosed masts
that form twin towers stretching skyward over
1,300 workers toiling to finish the massive
warship dedicated to the victims of 9/11.
Deep within the ship,
there's a piece of metal in the 25,000-ton
vessel with almost sacred significance.
bow stem, which forms the forward most part of
the ship, is forged from steel recovered from
the hallowed land at Ground Zero.
The men and women building
this ship have found a special purpose, a sense
of history, in a chunk of I-beam from the World
Trade Center's south tower combined with twisted
steel found at the Fresh Kills landfill.
"I told my kids, 'I welded
that,'" said Maximo Alcantara, 36, a first class
welder at the Northrop Grumman Ship Systems
shipyard who worked on the bow stem. "That's a
piece of history."
"The bow is the leading
point ... whatever headway it makes, it takes
the towers with it," ship director Tommy Barrett
Here on the banks of the
Mississippi, nine miles upriver from New
Orleans, the Northrop Grumman shipyard is a
scene of controlled chaos.
Piercing alarms sound and
buzzers go off each time one of the three,
70-ton yellow cranes called gantries slowly roll
along the side of the ship to hoist and deliver
tons of equipment to builders on the decks.
Trucks come and go, workers
pedal bicycles to get around the sprawling
shipyard and men with pipe fittings and pieces
of steel over their shoulders dodge the moving
"Please be safe so we can
go fishing Dad," reads a child's crayoned
drawing on the cafeteria door.
The sun blazes over the
daunting milieu. The smells of fuel oil and hot
metal hang in the 80-degree heat. Pigeons loll
on the moorings holding the ship.
The special hurricane
moorings were removed after the storms Ike and
Gustav swept the Gulf Coast and forced the
shipyard to close shop for a few days.
The New York is longer than
two football fields; it would stand taller than
the Woolworth Building.
The enormous structure
sitting in the murky brown river is designed for
stealth. It's painted a lusterless gray, the
numerals "21" in lighter gray. Its boxy shape
reduces its signature on radar to that of a
A fragment of yellow ribbon
clings to the bow, left over from the
christening ceremony last March, shortly after
the ship was placed in the water after assembly
on dry dock...more>
There are 39,000 stories in
Sunday's New York City Marathon, and each one is
inspirational. Then there's Matthew Long.
In December 2005, the city
firefighter became, perhaps, the most extreme
victim of the illegal strike by the transit
workers union. Riding his bicycle to work, he
was hit by a charter bus making an illegal turn.
In the words of his
surgeon, Dr. Dean Lorich, Long was "ripped open
from stem to stern." He also suffered a
shattered pelvis and a broken arm and leg. In
Lorich's opinion, Long shouldn't be able to go
to the bathroom by himself three years later.
But Long, 42, will be
running the marathon Sunday, and Lorich plans to
be there with his whole family to cheer. "I'm
not looking to be a hero," Long told the Daily
News last week, "but I know I can be a role
He sure can. No matter how
many cheer him Sunday, it won't even come close
to paying Matthew
Long back for the way his courage and
determination inspire this whole city.