“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
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.
We remember the following members who lost their lives at Brooklyn 4th Alarm 77-44-3300 August 2nd, 1978:
Lt James E Cutillo, Bn-33 He was married with 2 children. Joined FDNY April 6, 1963.
FF Charles S Bouton, L-156 38 years of age, married father of 6 children. Joined FDNY September 14, 1968.
FF Harold Hastings, Bn-42 39 years of age, 16 year veteran of the FDNY.
FF James P McManus, L-153 44 years of age, married with 2 daughters, 17 year veteran of the FDNY.
FF William O'Connor, L-15629 years of age, married father of 3 children. Only 7 1/2 months on the FDNY.
FF George S Rice, L-153 38 years of age, married with 2 children. Joined the FDNY August 14, 1965.
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
FF Louis Hardina, L-16 August 1, 1932
FF William L Pratt, L-7 detailed to L-2 August 1, 1932
Lt John H Cosgrove, E-65 August 1, 1932
FF Peter A Daly, E-39 August 1, 1932
FF Edward R Maloney, E-39 August 18, 1932
The Stephen Siller Tunnel 2 Towers foundation is once again looking to step up in support for Dallas Police officers who were ambushed, killing 5 injuring 12. COO John Hodge announced the foundation set their goal for $5 million to go to the families of the 5 killed officers as well as the 12 officers who were injured. This isn't the foundations 1st time stepping up for Police Officers, in 2014 they raised $1.2 million for the families of NYPD Detective Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos who were ambushed while sitting in their RMP in Brooklyn. The funds paid of the mortgages of the slain officers homes to help ease the burdon on the family.
Tunnel 2 Towers foundation was founded by the family and friends of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller who lost his life on 9/11/01. On that day, Siller selflessly gave his life and was determined to do so. He let nothing stop him from responding to the World Trade Center, ditching his vehicle in Brooklyn, grabbing his gear and running through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. The Tunnel 2 Towers foundation follows their inspiration and won't let anything get in their way of helping others. Every year they host a large well known run/walk following the footsteps of Stephen Siller through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center. Some run, some walk, some wearing firefighting gear and some not. But it isn't a race, it's to keep Stephen's memory alive and he would have been proud of where this foundation has been and where they are going.
2 off duty NYC employee's give another NYC employee a 2nd chance at life. While on duty, a NYC DEP employee was driving in Midland Beach, Staten Island when they suffered a heart attack, and went into cardiac arrest. The DEP Toyota Prius veered out of control and into a parked car at the intersection of Greeley Ave & Rudyard St.
2 super heroes swopped in and took control. Off Duty Firefighter Mark Gonzalez, E-310 and an off duty NYPD Officer, both were in the area and took swift action. After failed attempts to gain access inside the vehicle, Mark took a tire iron and broke the rear window then unlocked the doors. The male was removed from the vehicle and both worked as a team, performing 2 rescuer CPR on the unconscious male. EMS arrived and took over patient care/transport. As of 10pm last night, the NYPD confirmed the male's condition was listed as critical in Intensive Care. The quick actions by FF Gonzalez and the NYPD Officer, providing immediate care shaved seconds off the victims Golden Hour, potentially giving him many more years provided a full recovery. The chance is there because of their actions.
(Photo by Staten Island Advance)