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“I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a firefighter The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the firefighter has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

-Chief Edward F. Croker FDNY circa 1910

NYC Fire Wire

News, Events, Announcements

FDNY Battalion Chief Robert Miuccio dies of 9/11-related cancer

BC Miuccio Chief Miuccio at the WTC site.

Retired FDNY Battalion Chief Robert Miuccio, a Ground Zero hero famed for walking through burning buildings with a cigar in his mouth instead of an air mask, died Thursday of 9/11-related cancer, his family said. He was 76.

"My dad never stopped thinking about the guys in the department," his son, retired firefighter Robert Miuccio Jr., told the Daily News. "When we were at the hospital, he was talking in his sleep. 'Come on boys! We gotta put the fire out.'"

Miuccio, who served with the department for 39 years, died after a two-year battle with lung cancer, officials and family said.

When planes crashed into the Twin Towers, the Staten Island firefighter — whose brother Richard, 55, worked on the 86th floor of 2 World Trade Center — grabbed his gear and boarded a ferry headed downtown.

Miuccio's brother perished in the terror attack. He set aside his grief for the next 3½ months as he led firefighters' efforts to recover the remains of the dead.

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FDNY honors member 80 years after LODD

obrien

FDNY firefighter Thomas F. O'Brien, who died in the line of duty in 1935, was finally recognized with a plaque during an ceremony Tuesday.

June 12 -- More than 80 years after he died in the line of duty, a Queens firefighter’s death was finally recognized by the FDNY during a ceremony at department headquarters in Brooklyn A plaque honoring Firefighter Thomas F. O’Brien was unveiled Tuesday during a brief but poignant ceremony to commemorate his death in October 1935 while fighting a fire in Manhattan. O’Brien, a widower with five children, had been living in Richmond Hills when he died. For years, the FDNY wouldn’t recognize O’Brien’s death as being in the line of duty. But after his grandson Arthur O’Brien of New Jersey hired retired Nassau County Surrogate Edward W. McCarty III to do an investigation & commence litigation, the FDNY agreed to put the deceased firefighters name on its memorial wall, along with the names of over 1,150 other firefighters who have died in the line of duty. “Relieved,” was how Arthur O’Brien described his feelings after the ceremony, which capped over a six year quest to get his grandfather honored. He was joined at the ceremony by his grandfather’s great grandchildren & great, great grandchildren.“It is like a fruition of a dream,” said O’Brien’s sister, Betty Seibold of Massapequa Park. “My brother has been working on this for so long and we had times we weren’t really sure it was doing to happen . . . This is just something that is wonderful.”

Thomas O’Brien, 48, died on October 28, 1935, hours after he suffered injuries in a fire on West 26th Street in Manhattan, apparently after he was struck on the head by falling debris. An investigation by McCarty, chronicled last year in Newsday, uncovered an autopsy report from 1935 which stated O’Brien died from a fractured skull & brain injuries suffered during the fire.

At the ceremony on Tuesday morning, Arthur O’Brien thanked not only McCarty but former city medical examiner Michael Baden, who did a recent analysis of the original autopsy results & Gerard Fitzgerald, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association for help in talking with FDNY officials.

___ (c)2018 Newsday Visit Newsday at www.newsday.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Mysterious man in Red Bandana

 

You have heard many stories about the heroic acts on 9/11, but did you hear about the mysterious man in the red bandana? Welles Crowther was working as an American Equities trader on 9/11/01 at the World Trade Center. Truth be told, the 24 year old wasn't looking forward to a desk job for the rest of his life. He had further dreams, and plenty of time to fulfill them. When he turned 16, Welles joined the Volunteer Fire Service, joining the footsteps of his father at Nyack Empire Hook & Ladder company.

At the age of 6, Welles' father gave him a red bandana which stayed with him through the years. It became his signature trademark, a link between father and son. While playing lacrosse at Boston College, Welles wore his bandana under his helmet. In 1999, he graduated with honors degree in economics, which led to his career at the World Trade Center; his office was on the 104th floor of the South Tower. At 9:03am on September 11th, 2001, United flight 175 struck the South Tower between floors 78 & 85. Welles called his mother at 9:12am and left a calm message assuring his family he was OK. He fought the smoke and flames down to the 78th floor sky lobby, where he found survivors. Crowther left his trading career in his office and his firefighting bloodlines took over. He was ready to do his job, the calling that was sent for him at a young age. In an authoritive voice, he directed ambulatory patients to the A stairway which he previously descended from his office. He used his red bandana to cover his nose and mouth, and was carrying a woman down 15 flights. Welles job wasn't done, knowing the danger his life was in, he put it aside and went back up to rescue more. 

In May, the New York Times published accounts of 9/11 which Welles' parents were reading. 1 account stood out. Judy Wein, a survivor from the South Tower noted a mysterious man in a red bandana coming to the aide of numerous people. His parents knew immediately, they found what their son was doing before he died.

December 15th, 2006, Commissioner Scoppetta and Chief Cassano posthumously named Welles Crowther Honorary Firefighter with the FDNY. Following Welles' death, his family found a partially filled out application to take the test for the FDNY. Knowing it would be a huge pay cut, Welles' still planned to follow his dream. 

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Remembering Lt Carpluk Jr & FF Reilly

Sunday August 27th 2006, at 1230hrs, Bronx CO received a telephone alarm reporting a store fire at 1575 Walton Ave. Box 2797 was transmitted. Eng.42 transmitted the 10-75 at 1233hrs, heavy smoke venting from the front of a 99¢ Store, a 1 story class 3(non-fireproof) commercial 45x65. The store suffered severe damage 6 years ago (7/17/00) when it had a 3rd Alarm fire. Since then, it underwent extensive alteration that was not consistent with the architectural plans filed.

The fire originated on the 1st floor rear and quickly extended to the ceiling. Combustible stock ignited the Masonite ceiling which was nailed directly to the bottom of the roof joists. Due to the fire load, a 2nd alarm was quickly transmitted.

21 minutes after the arrival of FDNY units, the failure of a cellar column caused a V-Shaped collapse. This collapse took place without warning. A 3rd alarm was transmitted. 10 members fell into the collapse area. 4 members from Engine 92 were immediately removed by FAST. 6 remaining members were trapped in the collapse. TL-44 Can firefighter was extricated aprox 4 minutes. E-75 B/U Firefighter was extricated aproximately 43 minutes in. TL-44 Officer was extricated approximately 56 minutes. Battalion 17 Chief was extricated approximately 1 hour. Lt Howard Carpluk, E-75 Officer was extricated approximately 1 hour 21 minutes. FF Michael C Reilly, E-75 was extricated approximately 1 hour 41 minutes.

FF Michael C Reilly succumbed to his injuries that day. He was appointed to the FDNY on April 11th, 2006, only on the job for a few months. 

Lt Howard J Carpluk Jr succumbed to his injuries 1 day later, August 28th, 2006. He was appointed to the FDNY August 2nd 1986, promoted to Lieutenant March 6th 1999 assigned to Engine 42. He was working PCOT in Engine 75 for this fire. 

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Deutsche Bank Fire

Deutsche Bank Fire

In memory  of FF Joseph Graffagnino, L-5 detailed to E-24 (Posthumously promoted to Lieutenant) and FF Robert Beddia, E-24.

On September 11th, 2001, the Deutsche Bank located at 130 Liberty Street, suffered severe damage from the collapse of the World Trade Center and never reopened for business purpose. August 31st, 2004, Lower Manhattan Development Corp assumed ownership and Asbestos abatement and deconstruction was to take place at different locations within the building. No demolition permit for 130 Liberty was filed or issued, however, a series of alteration permits were filed and issued by NYCDOB. 

On Saturday August 18th, 2007, at 1536hrs, a Telephone Alarm reporting a fire on the scaffolding at 88 Greenwich Street, Box 0047 was transmitted. Initially 2 Engines, 2 Trucks and the Battalion were assigned, but due to subsequent numerous calls, Manhattan Dispatch filled out the assignment to 4 Engines, 2 Trucks, Rescue, Squad, Battalion & HazMat 1 (E-10, E-4, E-6, E-7, L-10, TL-15, Bn-1, Rescue 1, Squad 18). 10 Truck officer transmitted the 10-75 for heavy smoke from the upper floors of the Deutsche Bank with the corrected address of 130 Liberty Street. At 1541hrs, 10 Truck upgraded the box to a 2nd Alarm for fire through the skin of the high rise. At 1547hrs, Battalion 1 transmitted the 10-76(HiRise Commercial fire). Size up was 26 story hi-rise office building182x182 occupying 1 city block and as previously mentioned, undergoing asbestos abatement & demolition. The building was built in 1974, 38 stories tall prior to demolition. All interior elevators were out of service & exterior construction elevators were used to gain access to upper floors. The standpipe was reported by construction workers to be a 'dry system', however when fed from the street, water did not reach the fire floor. It was found that a section was missing in the sub level A. 

The 1st hoseline had to be stretched up the exterior of the building. It took 67 minutes from the initial transmission of alarm until a charged hoseline was in position on the 15th floor manned by Engine 24. The delay in water allowed the fire to extend from the 17th floor to the top 26th floor, also downward to the 16th, 15th, 14th, 12th & 5th floors. 

FF Graffagnino was found unconscious on the 14th floor at 1701hrs. He was removed to Downtown Beekman Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. FF Beddia was found unconscious on the 14th floor at 1710hrs. He was also removed to Downtown Beekman Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

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Waldbaum's Fire August 2nd, 1978

Waldbaum's Fire August 2nd, 1978

August 2nd, 1978, 12 firefighters plunged into a burning Waldbaum's Supermarket when the bowstring truss roof collapsed at the center of the store. 6 firefighters died. Shortly before the collapse, a crackling sound was heard. Some of the 20 firefighters on the roof at the time were able to run to the roof's edge.

The bowstring truss, concealed by a rain roof, failed as a result of the unchecked fire gaining headway.

The fire was reported at 8:30am, escalated to a 5th alarm as a result of the rescue and recovery effort. Built in 1952, the supermarket was undergoing extensive renovations and was open for business. At the time, they were welding in the ceiling. The roof collapsed 32 minutes after initial units arrived. 6 firefighters were killed, 34 injured. 

Failure of 1 truss element can cause failure of the entire truss and a resulting collapse of the entire structure. The danger of truss construction whether a bowstring truss, wooden truss with gusset plates or metal parallel chord truss pose a danger to firefighters. 

Of the 6 members killed August 2nd, 1978 at the Waldbaum's Fire in Brooklyn, FF William O'Connor was the youngest. 29 years of age, he had only 7 1/2 months on the job. O'Connor was reporting for duty that morning, his wife and 3 children drove him to work. As they arrived, the bells were ringing in the firehouse. He ran into the firehouse, thew his gear on and jumped in. His wife followed behind to watch their hero husband/father in action. Unfortunately, they were watching as he was thrown into the collapse. 6 of New York City's bravest were killed, 34 others injured.

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Ritz Tower Explosion

Ritz Tower Explosion

August 1st, 1932 - FDNY Companies were turned out to a reported fire in the sub-cellar of the Ritz Tower. Located at 113 East 57 Street, the Ritz is a 41 story hotel/residential building with stores on the 1st floor. It was one of the tallest residential buildings in New York City. While members were working to extinguish the fire, fumes from the paint shop met the high heat from the fire causing an explosion. Lt James Hartnett, L-16 and FF Thomas S Finn, E-65 were closest to the explosion and were killed instantly. The Incident Commander promptly transmitted the 2nd alarm for box 924. Uninjured firemen near the explosion rushed to remove the injured when, with in 3 minutes of the 1st explosion, a 2nd occured. The 2nd was more powerful and bigger than the 1st, blowing out partition walls, traveling up the dumbwaiter shaft to the 1st floor. 5 firemen were killed in the 2nd explosion and another succumed to his injuries 2 weeks later.

We remember FDNY members killed at the Ritz Tower Explosion Box 66-22-0924 occuring August 1st, 1932 at 113 East 57 Street.

Lt James Hartnett, L-16 August 1, 1932

FF Thomas S Finn, E-65 August 1, 1932

FF James F Greene, E-65 August 1, 1932

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Remembering Chief Stack, Safety Battalion

Remembering Chief Stack, Safety Battalion

Following the attacks on 9/11/01, like many families, the Stack family held out hope that one day the remains of Lawrence Stack would show up. Anything would do, something with DNA that they can say good bye to. 14 years with nothing and the door has yet to be closed, so the family made the ultimate decision they would attempt to locate something from him that they could say good bye to. Larry and his wife, Kathleen, were blood donors. Kathleen contacted the Blood bank in a blind attempt to locate his donation. A few months went by and the phone rings- Larry's blood was found in storage in Minnesota. The donation was donated back to the family, which they chose to use as a piece of a loving husband, father, brother, best friend to say to good bye to.

Larry Stack was one of many real life heroes that day, but his life leading up to his death was nothing short of spectacular. Before he joined the FDNY, Larry spent 6 years in the US Navy. His last year was the Vietnam War. February 19, 1966, he joined the NYPD for a short period following his honorable discharge from the Navy, but being from a family of FDNY firefighters, joining the department was a no brainer. His father spent 38 years on the job, his brother Dennis retired as a Captain with over 25 years on, his 2 sons; Michael joined the FDNY in 1994 and is presently a Lieutenant in Ladder 176 and Brian is in Ladder 123 detailed to Rescue 4, and his brother-in-law retired as a Lieutenant with over 25 years on the job. 

October 19, 1968, Chief Stack joined the FDNY assigned to Ladder 107 then to Ladder 175 in 1970. In 1981, he was promoted to Lieutenant and after a year of bouncing he was assigned to 35 Truck in Lincoln Center on Manhattan's Upper West Side.  On April 5th, 1984, he was promoted to Captain. He bounced around Manhattan until January 6th, 1987 when he got the spot in Engine 8, Midtown East. March 17th 1990, Larry was promoted to Battalion Chief, working in the 50 Battalion. In 1994, he transfered to the Safety Battalion. 

June 17th, 2016 is the date set for the funeral of Chief Lawrence Stack. This date has significant meaning; It is the 49th wedding anniversary of Larry and Kathleen. Also, June 17th, 2001 was a Sunday, it was also Father's Day and Larry Stack was working the day tour. Around 2pm, Queens Companies were assigned to fire in Hardware Store- Long Island General Store at 12-22 Astoria Blvd. 40 minutes into the fire an explosion occured, this took the life of 3 firemen and injured many more. The Safety Battalion's responsibility, in addition to firefighting duties, is investigating line of duty injuries and deaths. Following this fire, Chief Stack was on administrative detail to conduct his investigation of the fire that took place on June 17th which is known as The Father's Day Fire.

On September 11th, 2001, Chief Stack reported to his office at the Brooklyn Navy Yard ready to put his final report together on the Father's Day fire when the 1st plane flew into the tower. The view from the Brooklyn Navy Yard is lower Manhattan. All members in the firehouse went up to the roof. Larry had his binoculars with him and as he was watching the horror unfold, the 2nd plane struck the other tower. Larry turned to the others and said, "We will be needed, we need to go", and off they went. 

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