Thursday, September 27, 2018

PART 13:ORAL HISTORIES NYFD FROM SEPTEMBER 11TH,2001

We must never forget. The people that did this need to be brought to justice! 

File No. 9110089
WORLD TRADE CENTER
TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
CHIEF PEDRO CARRASQUILLO
Interview Date: October 16, 2001
Transcribed by Laurie A. Collins 
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MR. FEILER: Today's date is October 16th, 2001. The time now is 9:16 hours. This is Monte Feiler of the Fire Department of the City of New York. I am conducting on interview of the following individual. Please state your name, rank and assigned area of command. 

CHIEF CARRASQUILLO: Pedro Carrasquillo, Division 4, EMS command.

MR. FEILER: Of the New York City Fire Department. We're conducting the interview in the conference room of Division 4 EMS command, the property of Queens General Hospital. The interview is regarding the events of September 11th, 2001. Also present is 

MS. MAGGI: Diana Maggi, investigations and trials. 

Q. Go ahead, sir.

A. Heading into the office that morning, when on the air, I heard conditions 04, Lieutenant Rene Davila, sounding very anxious on the radio stating that there was some form of explosion. I didn't catch it all. I raised the volume and then heard him indicate that there was a plane that ran into the side of the World Trade Center.

So right away I started continuing into Queens General. I called citywide. I told them that I would be responding. I came by Queens General on my way from home, picked up Sal Sangeniti, picked up Captain J.R. Rivera, and I picked up Jason Katz, who were here waiting for me.

We continued in. Then we heard the report of a second airplane crashing into the other tower. Initially I thought it was just one of the commuter planes, or one of the sight-seeing planes along the water there, but then when I heard the second plane, then right away I thought it must have been terrorist activity, but still not knowing what type of aircraft went into the building.  

So we responded in. Traffic was heavy. We were able to get through into the express lane and went in through the Midtown Tunnel, taking the drive southbound and seeing the smoke and seeing the World Trade Center. At one point, seeing the gaping hole on one of the towers and the smoke on the other going all the way up, I was thinking everybody from that point on up will probably be dead if not from the smoke, certainly from the fire.

We took the tunnel underneath the tip of Manhattan and came up alongside, I think it's the New York Athletic Club. I parked a couple blocks before the World Trade Center just because I didn't want to go too much closer with my vehicle.

I parked, got out. People were running. I got out, got my helmet, got my turnout coat. At that point, right there, there was some debris, and there were some body parts that were on the street. Some of the police officers were trying to cordon off those areas. So we were very careful when we were walking.

We went over the median onto the West side of West Street and continued up to the command post, which was directly across the street from the World Trade Center. At that point, just before I got to the command post I  saw Jack Delaney with his medics from the New York Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian, and they had their vehicles diagonally parked on West Street. They were out in front of the vehicle.

I called Jack and his men over because that location didn't seem to be a safe location because of the debris that was falling out of the buildings. So they came over by the command post. They had given them instructions, and they took off in the south direction to their assignment.

I reported to the command post. Chief Gombo was there. I remember seeing Chief Browne and Jason Katz, who came with me, went with Chief Brown. They got their assignment, and they headed in a south direction.

I hadn't gotten my assignment yet. We were talking. Then all of a sudden we heard a noise. People started running. People were saying that the building was collapsing. At that point I heard the noise. It was enough for me to react and run.

I didn't turn around to look. I just heard the noise coming down, and it was like a jet engine, just getting louder and louder.

At that moment I'm thinking which way to run, north or south. And it seemed like the corners on either direction was falling and I wouldn't be able to outrun this thing. So we all retreated into a garage that had a ramp going down directly across the street. I think it was the American Express building or one of those buildings there.

We went in. As we're running down, I'm looking at where I can hide. There were some little cutouts as you're going down the ramp. So I went to one of them. There were three other firefighters there. We squatted down. Just as we did that, everything just passed right through into the tunnel, into the garage ramp.

At that moment everything was just total darkness. You couldn't see anything. You couldn't breathe. We were coughing. I got out my handkerchief so I could at least use that as some type of filter. I got a couple breaths, and then you're just coughing.

Firefighters there had on their respirators, and then some of them had flashlights. So at least we were able to head -- we were all starting to head in the up ramp direction going up, which is the way that we had come down.

I'm hearing people saying that we were sealed in. So right away the first thing is, that's it, this is how we're going to die, down here. I remember Chief Ganci behind me, hearing his voice, stating that we have to move up. Up is out.[This testimony is interesting because we know Chief Ganci did not make it, so his death must be tied into the collapse of the second(North)Tower?This is not the first account of  personal seeking safety in this parking structure,but if my memory serves me correctly it is the first stating the Chief's presence DC]
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So we started to go up. We're getting towards the top, and you couldn't see. There was total, total darkness. I see a flashlight shining from the top and somebody screaming down that this is outside. We started working our way up towards that light, and there was debris all over. So you really had to be careful on how you were stepping because you would trip and fall.

When we got outside, there was a suburban right next to the entrance. I don't know if it was pushed up there or how it got there. So at that point you still couldn't see anything, but you could see silhouettes of trees, so we knew we were on the outside. 

I started heading north to the corner, which is Vesey Street, and there we started to regroup some of the people. As I was walking West on Vesey, I ran into Captain Stone, who appeared to be injured. His shoulder was hurting him. I saw Artie Gonzalez who was a paramedic out of Bellevue that was there.

Then I went into the lobby of the American Express building. In the lobby I ran into a couple of other EMTs, but at that point I really couldn't see much because I was covered in the soot. So I was able to get some water to clean my face, cough, spit, gargle, trying to get some of that soot out of me and clean my glasses.

Then we started -- we were hearing of possible gas leaks and possibly the next building coming down. So we started to get everybody mobilized at the west -- West of West Street by --

Q. I have a map.

A. -- Vesey and North Street, I believe it was. We started to go up Vesey Street, and we started heading towards North End. At North End on the northeast corner there's an Embassy Suites. We started to make that a triage treatment area for all the people that we were bringing in. 

At that location we started to meet Captain Sickles, J.R. Rivera again, Sal, I saw them, because we lost contact once we ran down into the garage. Then Chief Gombo was there, Chief Pascale. I don't know where they were before. So we started making a treatment area.

Then I went back down Vesey Street to make sure that everybody started to clear out from the American Express lobby that we were at.

Then I decided to take a walk towards West Street just to see if in fact that tower, the whole tower, had come down, which confirmed, yes, that it was completely down.

I started to walk back again, making sure everybody was out, and started to get all the vehicles, all the personnel to North End. As I was walking back, I heard the second sound, which was the second building coming down. I ran into the American Express or right in between here, looked around. I saw a lot of windows. Now I'm looking for a place that I'm not going to get hit with flying debris.

I had two EMTs, that I don't know who they were, male and female. I told them come on this way. There was a civilian that was going to walk out. I said you can't walk out there, the tower is collapsing. I grabbed him. Then we went behind this marble pillar, a huge marble pillar with a wall behind it, back there and squatted down.

The second wave came down through Vesey Street, blowing out the windows along the sides there. Then I told the guy can we get out another way, and he said yes. We were able to go through some hallway. We came out on North Street. We were able to go underneath and came out here and then walked over to the Embassy Suites lobby there.

There we tried to regroup who was going where. Chief Gombo, everybody was going now to I think it was police headquarters. They told me to initially go to Chelsea, but then they assigned somebody else to Chelsea and I stood there.

Q. How did you receive those orders? 

A. No, no, no, we were there in the lobby. Chief Gombo was there, Peruggia was there, Fran was there, Chief Pascale and myself.

Q. That was in the lobby of American Express?

A. No, this was in the lobby of the Embassy Suites. 

So everybody got their assignments. I think Chief Basile was there as well. He went to the ferry terminal. He was working his way out to the ferry terminal, I believe. Chief Villani was heading that direction as well. Chief Pascale went to the Chelsea Piers for the staging area out there. And I stood at Vesey.

We were treating people, and we started to -- I started to let everybody -- we need to get these people into vehicles and out of here and to the hospital or to an area of Chambers Street, because now we're getting reports there was gas leaking and possibly rupturing. So we were not in a safe area. 

We started to do that. We got everybody outside. Then we drove all the vehicles -- some of the patients got into the vehicles, and we transported them out to the area hospitals. The rest of the vehicles continued now northbound to Chambers Street.

At Chambers Street, we regrouped there, and we were going to start a treatment area by the grass area. We went up Vesey, and we went up West End. We worked our way back here to Chambers Street, which is right near Stuyvesant School.

We were going to go into this area that's indicated North Park to set up some sort of a treatment area there so that in the event that we needed to transport people and the area was blocked off and we couldn't get vehicles, there were some ships, boats, that were coming in. So we would use them to get the people out of there and take them either uptown, downtown or to Jersey, if needed.

At that point, however someone came by and we had to evacuate that area because there were gas lines underneath there and that would possibly blow up. So we regrouped then and just went down the block on Chambers, and we went to Chambers and West. 

As we were retreating from some of these places -- I mean, a lot of equipment too was just left behind, and vehicles, until we were able to come back later on. At any rate, we regrouped to Chambers and West. Chief Peruggia and myself were there. Then we set tried to set up a plan.

He stood in control of communications, and then I went as the liaison with OEM at the Fire Department. And we just kept on operating at that location with some of our units. As we would get patients, we would treat them and take them out of there or transport them or treat them and release.

At that point we wound up getting a large contingency of people from the academy. So they were outside, and we told the captain from the academy -- I don't know his name -- to get all the personnel and bring them into the area of Stuyvesant School and leave them in there, because outside were all the dust -- every time the vehicles drove by, it just picked up all the dust and debris. Then as we were going to utilize them, then we would call them. 

Then I just worked as the liaison office with OEM, and I was just coordinating whatever resource they needed. Then we started to try to get a sense of who was missing. We didn't know how many units were assigned and so on. So we just took a tally of the units nearby.  

Then we just continued to operate. I attended a couple of the OEM meetings, what we needed, where we were going to set up. We talked about possibly having a field hospital. We were going to set it up at the North Park area, because now it was secured so we were able to get -- we were going to try to get the Parks Department to set up some tents.

We had a Coast Guard cutter that was anchored along the side, and they were able to provide us with generator power and supplies and water and so on. 

So that was a plan. We were trying to get a hold of the medical examiner to set up a morgue sector or request for a team, because we knew we were going to have to process a lot of bodies there. So we were trying not to anticipate a lot of things. 

Following the meeting, OEM -- because OEM got established in the Stuyvesant School, we were there. They told us in the morning they were going to get a ship, a hospital ship, that was coming in and anchoring at the pier. Then the rest of the resources and some troops and whatever things that we needed.

So we spoke about DMAT teams coming in to try to set up as treatment areas and just continue to operate there throughout the night.

Q. When you were coming in, you said that you heard Lieutenant Davila talking. Was that on citywide?

A. Citywide, yeah.

Q. That's the frequency that you were listening to?

A. Yeah. 

Q. And when you called citywide, you did that by radio or telephone?

A. Telephone.

Q. Did they give you any specific area to respond to? 

A. No. I just told them I would be heading in, going to the command post. Then I called RCC. I called to RCC and told them call all the stations throughout the city, anybody that's going home, they have to stay, and try to keep as many people as possible, in the event that we would need more resources down there.

I wasn't the incident commander, but I'm sure that the people there had their hands full and I didn't know if any of them had relayed any information, so I just did that on my own.

And I spoke to  just before I left here, I told the crew here and the L S U crew  here to respond not to incident but just on the other side, on the Queens side of the Midtown Tunnel area. In the event if they needed them, they would be right there so they can just go in.

Q. When you arrived at the scene, you came out of the tunnel that connects to the FDR Drive and the West Side Highway?

A. Correct. 

Q. Where did you say you parked your vehicle?

A. I parked my vehicle on the east side of West Street or the West Side Highway right near the New York Athletic Club, the club down there.

Q. You know what, mark it if you see it on there.

A. I believe it was 

Q. Is that where the vehicle stayed for the remainder of the incident?

A. Until about 3 in the morning, when I looked for it. I brushed off all the debris.

Q. When the first building collapsed and you retreated into the underground garage, you said you met up with three firefighters. Were you able to determine their names or where they were from?

A. No.

Q. And then you heard Chief Ganci?

A. I heard his voice, yeah.

Q. You never were face-to-face with him?

A. No, you couldn't see.

Q. Did you meet up with him any time after that or you lost contact?

A. No, I went back to Vesey Street, and I went into the American Express building to try to first clean myself off and then try to establish some form of a treatment area.

Q. Other than the people that you mentioned, did you see any other EMS officers, EMTs, medics, fire officers that you know?

A. No. Those are the people that I recall. There was another medic that I saw in the lobby, Perez, from -- I think he's -- he used to work for us. That's the only one I recall. He asked me if I was okay. Then that's when I just cleaned myself off, at least my face, anyway. 

Q. Besides the American Express and the Embassy Suites, did you ever enter either one of the trade towers?

A. No.

Q. Building number seven?

A. No. 

Q. Initially you said there was an EMS command post that you met up with Chief Gombo. Where was that? 

A. That was there, right across the street from the Trade Center, just next to the garage.

Q. The north tower or the south tower?

A. It was in between both towers.

Q. Can you just X that, make it D.

A. I think it was in this area here, because I remember this pedestrian bridge being on the outside and looking trying to see where. This is the area.

Q. Is there anything else that you think is important that you would like to add before we conclude?

A. No.

MR. FEILER: I want to thank you for your time and providing this interview. It's 9:38 hours, and we'll conclude this interview.
https://static01.nyt.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110089.PDF



File No. 9110239
WORLD TRADE CENTER
TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
FIREFIGHTER GERARD CASEY
Interview Date: December 5, 2001
Transcribed by Laurie A. Collins
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CHIEF BURNS: Today is the 5th of December, 2001. The time is 3:59 p.m. I am Chief Robert Burns of the Safety Battalion conducting an interview with Firefighter Second Grade Casey from Ladder 122 in regard to the events that took place on September 11th, 2001. 

Q. If you would, just tell me in your own words what happened at the World Trade Center fire.

A. We received the alarm about a quarter to 9. We responded to the tunnel with 132, 105, 101 and 131. 101 might have made -- I think 131. We got stuck in the tunnel for ten minutes. There was a car with two firefighters. They cleared out the left lane, and we finally made it through the tunnel.


Ladder 132
Image result for images of Andrew Jordan, 36 NYFD
  • Andrew Jordan, 36
  • A 36-year-old father of four, he was keenly aware of the risks he faced. When the ladder truck pulled up at a burning building, he was often the first one raised high into the air to battle the flames. "Andrew was going into the bucket at one fire, and this guy said to him, 'Thank God it's you and not me,'" his mother recalled. "Andrew said, 'Thank God it's me and not you.'" 
  • Image result for images of Michael Kiefer, 25
  • Michael Kiefer, 25
  • Thomas  Mingione
  • Thomas Mingione, 34
  • Thomas Mingione‚ 34‚ was a firefighter with Ladder 132 in Brooklyn. He was a beloved husband‚ cherished son‚ loving brother‚ fond nephew‚ special uncle‚ and adored cousin and friend. He was also the proud father of daughter Amanda‚ who was born in December 2001. His family’s nickname for him is ‘Topshelf Tommy‚’ because he always wanted the best and had the best. There are those who have an inner gift that makes them very special. The gift to be blind to the flaws and imperfections of those around them. The gift to see only the good. The gift to make others feel love‚ compassion‚ and hope. [He was] one of those people to whom God has given that special inner gift.
  • John T. Vigiano II
  • John T. Vigiano II, 36
  • John was a man who enjoyed life. He loved his family especially his wife‚ Maria and their two daughters‚ Nicolette (6) and Ariana (3).
    John loved being a firefighter‚ especially being a chauffeur in his company Ladder 132. John enjoyed sports‚ especially golf and hockey.
    As a son growing up‚ his parents were very proud of his achievements. Honor roll‚ Eagle Scout and going to college where he graduated with a BA degree. John was a good son‚ a great father‚ and an endearing husband.
    He was always there for people willing to help and always with a smile. The smile was his trademark… it added to his sense of humor.
  • Sergio G. Villanueva
  • Sergio Villanueva, 33
  • Sergio G. Villanueva‚ 33‚ firefighter‚ FDNY‚ Ladder 132. Villanueva‚ who was engaged to be married‚ had spent eight years as a New York City police officer before joining the FDNY. On the job‚ colleagues respected his skills and looked forward to his stints in the firehouse kitchen. Villanueva had honed his culinary expertise at his father’s Bayside‚ Queens restaurant. A native of Argentina and a member of the FDNY’s soccer team‚ Villanueva had a passionate love for Argentine soccer. He would be hoarse for days after watching a match.

We were last in line because we were getting into the tunnel via the service lane, and 105 and 132 were closer in, closer to the tunnel portals than we were, because we were in the service lane. So we ended up behind them. 105 took the front of the north tower. We went with 132 and I believe 131 or 101, I'm not sure.


Ladder 105
Vincent E. Brunton
  • Capt. Vincent Brunton, 43
  • Vincent E. Brunton‚ 43‚ captain‚ FDNY‚ Ladder 105 in Brooklyn. Brunton‚ known as Vinnie‚ received a medal for saving a handicapped woman from a fire in 1992. Because of his dedication to fire service training‚ Brunton’s name will be inscribed on a pillar of a new Fire Academy. Brunton’s brother Michael is also an FDNY firefighter.
  • Image result for images of Thomas Richard Kelly, 39
  • Thomas Richard Kelly, 39
  • Image result for images of Thomas Richard Kelly, 39
  • Henry Alfred Miller, Jr, 51(L.L.)
  • Dennis P. O'Berg
  • Dennis O'Berg, 28
  • Dennis P. O’Berg‚ 28‚ firefighter‚ FDNY‚ Ladder 105. Just six weeks out of the Fire Academy‚ O’Berg had left a job as a certified accountant at Ernst and Young to become a firefighter. His father was a lieutenant and 30-veteran of the FDNY. A graduate in accounting from the State University of New York-Geneseo‚ O’Berg was known for having the talent to do anything. He had found his true calling as a firefighter with the FDNY. He had been married for less than a year.
  • Frank Anthony Palombo
  • Frank Anthony Palombo, 46
  • Frank Palombo was born on March 14th‚ 1955‚ in Brooklyn to Anthony and Fortunata Palombo. He graduated from St. Edmunds Elementary School‚ Cathedral Preparatory Seminary and Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception.
    On May 19th‚ 1979 Frank became a New York City Firefighter.
    On October 23rd‚ 1982 he married Jean Marie Courtien. In January of 1985 he and his wife entered the Neocatechumenal Way. Over the next 14 years‚ they had ten children: Anthony 1986‚ Frank 1987‚ Joseph 1989‚ Maria 1990‚ Thomas 1991‚ John 1993‚ Patrick 1995‚ Daniel 1997‚ Stephen 1999‚ and Margaret Mary 2000.
    Frank loved to play and pray with his children. He believed that each of his children was an undeserved gift from God. Frank was responsible for the Neocatechumenal Way in the Diocese of New York. He loved his job of saving people’s bodies from fire but loved even more the call he felt to save souls from fire.
    As Union Representative he fought for the safety of fellow firefighters. Frank lived his life looking for the will of God and asking the Lord to help him live it. He had experienced many times that when you live in the will of God‚ God provides.

We had to pull the rig out. We had spots in front of the rig where there were a lot of bodies and debris in front of us, body parts. We were in front of the north tower where the staging area was.

We positioned the rig up around -- passed the north tower at Vesey Street and we proceeded to walk towards the north tower at the staging area, which is in front of the north tower. There were two garages directly across the street from the north tower.

The incident commander and Ganci, Feehan was standing there too, divided up the trucks and the engines, engines on one side of the garage, trucks on the other side. We couldn't go through the front of the north tower because there were too many bodies on the ground. 

So he wanted us to go to the south tower, all the truck companies that were in that garage bay front area, about five truck companies. We grabbed extra bottles, proceeded to the overpass that is next to the Marriott, I believe, on West Street, and we had to go underneath the overpass to avoid debris falling from the south tower and bodies. People were jumping. 

We made it across there in time to get into the building. 132, 105 and 101 I saw. When we were in the lobby, I saw them. We were standing fast in the Marriott lobby. Close to the doors where the elevators were in the south tower was a doorway that leads into the lobby. 
Ladder 101
Joseph P. Gullickson
  • Lt. Joseph Gullickson, 37
  • Joe was a 37-year-old Fire Department lieutenant at Ladder 101 in Red Hook‚ Brooklyn‚ NY. He was a devoted husband‚ father‚ son‚ brother and loyal and dedicated fireman. Joseph was a World War II history buff and loved reading biographies of generals from that period. His hobbies included his love of music and his dog ‘Lucy.’ He adored his wife Naomi and daughters Amanda and Isabel. They were his great job in life. His senior officers have told us that Joe was an exceptional officer‚ always teaching and‚ above all‚ looking out for his men.
  • Joe had a style and grace that brightened our days‚ a laugh and smile that could win your heart. We miss him dearly.
  • Image result for images of Patrick Byrne, 39
  • Patrick Byrne, 39
  • PATRICK BYRNE, 39, of New York, studied accounting for two years in community college, but “being confined to a chair, it wasn't him,” said his mother, Anne Byrne. So Byrne started his own roofing company in the mid 1980s, and eventually became a firefighter, graduating from the fire academy in 1994. “He was an excellent firefighter who knew his job,” said Byrne's fire Capt. Thomas Giordano. Whenever a family member would ask Byrne what he did at the firehouse, his mother said he would reply, “Fighting fires, saving lives.” His mother said the response was really “tongue-in cheek,” but “that's what they do, isn't it?”
  • Image result for images of Salvatore B. Calabro, 38
  •  Salvatore B. Calabro, 38
  • Sal was born on 12/8/62 to his parents Connie and Carl. He grew up in Brooklyn‚ New York with his loving mother and two brothers. In 1980‚ he graduated from Lafayette High School. He attended Brooklyn College and the Gem Institute of America. Sal was a professional diamond setter and worked in the jewelry industry for several years. He exhibited his artistic ability in designing and creating fine jewelry.
  • On 9/14/87 Sal was appointed to the New York City Fire Department fulfilling his childhood dream. He spent his career at Ladder 101 in Red Hook‚ Brooklyn. There he became the heart and soul of the firehouse‚ building friendships and gaining the respect of his fellow firefighters. Sal was an avid weight lifter and athlete. Softball‚ football and ice hockey were among his favorite sports to play. He played for the NYFD football team in 1992. 
  • Sal married his teenage sweetheart Francine Carillo on 9/16/89. They had two sons Daniel and AJ. A father like no other – his boys were his life.Sal left us on September 11‚ 2001 – the way he would have wanted to go. He loved his country and the Fire Department. Sal Calabro was a hero and a patriot. He was loved by all who knew him and will be missed forever.
  • Image result for images of Brian Cannizzaro, 30
  • Brian Cannizzaro, 30
  • Thomas J. Kennedy, 36
  • Thomas J. Kennedy had the sort of welcoming face that babies and children love. Wherever he went, they would try to make friends. "He would treat kids as if they were adults," said a brother, Bob. "Then he could play the kid himself, at the same time." 

    A firefighter with Ladder Company 101 in Brooklyn, Mr. Kennedy, 36, wanted five children of his own. He and his wife, Allison, had two children and planned to have another. Michael is 2, and James turned 1 on Nov. 17. 

    As a father, Mr. Kennedy cherished his children's bedtime rituals, administering evening baths and reading "Goodnight Moon." He and Michael would drop coins into a piggy bank, because the father was teaching the son the value of saving. This winter, Mr. Kennedy had hoped to take Michael skiing and ice skating, and to see James walk. On Sept. 14, the baby took his first steps. "Now he runs and climbs," said Mrs. Kennedy. "Tom would have loved that." 
  • Image result for images of Joseph Maffeo, 31
  • Joseph Maffeo, 31
  • Image result for images of Terence A. McShane, 37
  • Terence A. McShane, 37

That was the last known positions I know that I saw them, those companies I mentioned that were next to us. I spoke to Vinny Brunton on the Brooklyn Battery's Brooklyn side. We thought we were going to be there all day. They were giving us water. Guys were cooling off. We knew we were going up. We didn't know if we could take any elevators at that point. Later on we found out we were going to go up and walked up.

We got the order to move, to go ahead and go forward. We started putting our gear on. Other companies moved up ahead of us maybe 20 feet, 25 feet ahead of us. There was a short distance between us, and 131 was behind us, waiting on us to move. We were just moving up in 5 the line going in. I believe 24 Truck was behind 131. So it was us, 131 and 24 Truck. In front of us was 132, 105 and 101. 


Ladder 131
Image result for images of Christian Michael Otto Regenhard, 28
Christian Michael Otto Regenhard, 28
was born on August 25, 1973. He was raised in Co-op City, Bronx, New York. After graduating from the Bronx High School of Science, he served five years in the United States Marine Corps, leaving as a decorated Reconnaissance Sergeant. He traveled extensively, often to remote areas of Central and South America, to pursue his love of rock climbing and diverse cultures. After studying language, art and writing at San Francisco State University, he was hired by the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), graduating from probationary school in July 2001. He was assigned to Ladder 131 when he was killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

We put our gear on, started going moving forward, and that's when we heard the rumbling. Somebody screamed, "The building's coming down." I had one shoulder strap on, I dropped my mask and I turned around and made it to -- I tried to run towards the restaurant to get out.

I didn't get any more than one step and everything just turned black, and I got pulled into a corner in there that was still standing. My helmet came off. I had a concussion, I believe. That was it. At that point I didn't think I was going to make it out alive. I thought that was it.

I made noise at the door. I banged on the door really loud before guys came to me. One guy from 24 Truck was bleeding really bad. He had no face piece on his regulator. I said, "Let's get this door open." I put my light on and I started banging and making a lot of noise. Other guys came and started lifting up the door. 

I heard a guy from my company screaming, "I've got the way out. It's over here." I followed his voice with two other firemen. I followed his voice.

That's pretty much what I remember as far as locations and locations of the companies that I saw that were operating.

Q. Which tower were you operating in?

A. South tower.

Q. South tower. From there where did you go? Did you go to EMS?

A. I came out. I came out of the crater. The street was gone, the restaurant and everything was gone. I saw Koyles and Vitiello. They were alive. I saw them and then I turned around and I couldn't see them. Walker had come out. I turned around and Koyles was gone. I don't know where he went.[The underlined is a interesting choice to use to me,as I have seen high rise buildings imploded in Las Vegas,and I do not recall any of them causing a crater at the site D.C]

I told Vitiello, I said, "Follow me," because he's a proby. Then I turned around and he was gone. He walked another way. I walked up -- by the overpass was a fire truck there. There was a fireman crushed. There was another guy who  was screaming, going crazy. I walked another 50 feet and there was another guy that was dead. There were bodies everywhere. 

I walked another like 50 feet. I was limping. I hurt my knee, my back. My eyes were closing. I couldn't see. I bumped into a guy on the floor. I helped him. He was hurting. He was injured bad. I started walking with him. Another fireman came over and helped me.  
We just kept walking, and we ended up at the water marina. A boat came over, and they pretty much threw us on the boat. They said, "You guys are banged up. Get on the boat." And that was it.

Q. Okay, Jerry, thanks for the interview. 

CHIEF BURNS: It's 4:06 p.m. This is the end of the interview.
https://static01.nyt.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110239.PDF 



File No. 9110352
WORLD TRADE CENTER
TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
FIREFIGHTER WILLIAM CASEY
Interview Date: December 17, 2001
Transcribed by Maureen McCormick 
Image result for IMAGES OF 911 FIREFIGHTERS

BATTALION CHIEF KENAHAN: The date is December 17, 2001. The time is 12:18, and this is Battalion Chief Dennis Kenahan of the safety battalion of the Fire Department of the City of New York.

I'm conducting an interview with Firefighter 1st Grade William Casey from Engine 21.

The interview is taking place in the quarters of Engine 21.

Q. William, just tell us the events as you remember them on September 11.
Engine 21
Image result for images of Capt. William Francis Burke, Jr., 46

Capt. William Francis Burke, Jr., 46
William F. Burke Jr.‚ 46‚ captain‚ FDNY‚ Engine 21. Burke‚ who was known as Billy‚ was with the FDNY for more than two decades‚ following in the footsteps of his father‚ an FDNY officer. A natural leader and mentor‚ Burke was an instructor at the Fire Academy. He also spent many summers working as a lifeguard at Robert Moses State Park on Long Island. Burke loved Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. Civil War history fascinated him and he had visited Gettysburg several times.
He always made everything better.
A. All right. We were in quarters when we saw it on the television with the plane, and I believe it was Tower 1, the first one that got hit.

Our captain came down the stairs. He let us know to start getting the bottles ready, stuff ready. He assumed that we were going to be going shortly.

He came down. I think we went on fifth alarm. I forget what the assignment was. So we loaded up the rig. As we were heading out of quarters, we actually saw on the television the second plane hit Tower 2, so we headed down.

Sid Parris was our chauffeur. We went down Second Avenue. I believe we were parked -- I think it was the corner of Vesey and -- I'm not really sure which corner, but anyway we came around. When we pulled up, of course, you could see the smoke, see a lot of stuff going on.

We walked into Tower 1, the north tower, and hung out in the lobby waiting for instructions on what to do. At that point, it was a lot of chaos. You were hearing jumpers. You were hearing different things going on. You saw different companies. We weren't told what to do really.

So then we got our instructions, and we followed the captain by an elevator, one of the elevator banks. Somebody told us there was somebody trapped in the elevator, so we opened up the doors. We had the rabbit tools, so we just pried it open a little bit, and then we pulled it open ourselves, and there was a lady in there, and we got her out.

We then went to another embankment, because we were with -- I believe the company -- I believe it was 13 truck. I'm not really sure at that time. We were going to go up the stairs, but we ended up -- there is an elevator would go up to the 24th Floor, which is what we took.

Then we started to proceed up, and I don't know what the stairwell number was, stairwell letter, to the 27th Floor.

At that point, there were different companies up there, different people up there. At that point, as soon as we got up there, we all hit the ground, because the building started shaking. We didn't know what that was. We assumed it was some floors above that had collapsed. We weren't really told what it was. We found out, obviously, that it was Tower 2 that collapsed.

At that point, I believe it was a chief -- I wasn't sure where he was from. He came down from somewhere. He came from one of the areas on the 27th Floor, and he told us to just get off this floor. So we were told to get off the floor.

We started to proceed down the same stairwell that we came up, and with that, our control guy was talking to the captain, because he didn't follow us. He wasn't coming with us right away. So he told him, "Yeah, yeah. Keep going down, I'll catch up with you," and stuff like that, because he just wanted to make sure everybody was off the floor.

With that, I proceeded back up. It was on the 24th floor. I proceeded back up, because I said I'll go hang out with -- you know, I'll stay with the captain, and this way if he needs a hand with something.

On my way back up, I came across a civilian on the 26th Floor, and he was struggling, so I was caught in between. I didn't want to leave him there. He was by himself. There was nobody there in the stairwell at that time, and so I had to help him. He was not making it. He was falling down the stairs. So I put him on my shoulder, and I proceeded down with him.   Related image

At the 19th Floor, I came across 13 truck, which I made sure the captain relayed to my boss where I was, so everybody knew what was going on, because now I was away from -- I didn't have a radio. I was the nozzle man. He gave me one of his guys to help me, because we didn't -- I wasn't going to get this guy out of the building by myself.

So with that, we proceeded down the stairs, and it was not chaos. It was not -- I didn't hear anything with his radio, not like anything happened. Still not hearing, not knowing that the other building collapsed, and we just proceeded down. The guy -- we had to help him. He was dragging his feet. He really  couldn't do anything. Every time he wanted to stop, we just kind of lifted him up in the air. We didn't stop. That was the one thing we didn't do, but it was not like it was people running over us or -- it was calm.

When we got to the lobby finally, there was a lot of ash and stuff on the ground, which I just assumed was part of the plane now, stuff. It must have been the other building collapsed, and part of it went in there, but still not aware of it.

Of course, like I said, in the lobby, I saw people that I knew, firemen. Nobody really was rushing out, because there were still civilians. So with that, I asked somebody from 2 truck did he see any of my guys. He said, "Yeah, they just walked out."

So then I knew that the guys were out of the building, and so I was going to -- we were going to go out with this guy, and we had to run out, because we were afraid -- like I said, there were people jumping, and so we ran out a little with him, but couldn't really run. We were dragging him.

Once we got across the street, I believe we went a little bit north.

Q. This was on West Street?

A. West Street. Well, we crossed over West Street. I don't know the street that we crossed over to, but we went up a little north of the trade center, so we never looked behind us, really never knew that Tower 2, which is really now south of you, I guess, not knowing that that's actually collapsed, still not knowing.

We got across -- like I said, I guess we crossed West Street. I don't know the little side street here, and we came to an ambulance, and we started -- they didn't have a key to it. We started getting ready to get this guy into the ambulance, and with that, you heard this -- it was almost like a roar, and it was like a rumbling, and I turned back.

I kind of froze, because when I turned back, I started seeing the building starting to come down, and when I turned back around, there was nobody -- there was nobody there, so I kind of just dove up against a fence. It was like a parking garage, an open parking space.

So I just put my face piece on, ducked my head, and it was frightening. It was very -- I thought that was it. Stuff was going over. It stayed dark. It felt like an eternity. I'm sure it wasn't, but it  just felt long.

At first I couldn't get my face piece on, like I said, so I was choking on the rubble and stuff, and I got it on in a lit bit of a daze. I didn't know where I was really at first, and started to go west, I guess, but then once you get your bearings now you want to turn back around because, of course, we had that guy, and I still didn't know where the guy that helped me with 13 truck.

When I started heading back, there was this chief -- you know, he didn't have his -- I think his helmet got knocked off, and he had like a -- looked a broken arm or something, and his face was bloody, so I wanted to help him now. So we just started walking him to an ambulance, because it was further west.

Now, when you wanted to head back, there were a few chiefs coming towards anybody that was going back that way. We had to regroup. It was sort of like we have to go around and you can't go back that way. So now I don't know what happened to the guy I was with, you know, the guy from 13 truck or the guy we helped out, but they were saying, "You can't go this way."

I guess they were still worried about collapse. You couldn't really tell what just happened, so we walked around -- it was like a -- walked all the way west and then came back up. I don't know which street we came back up, but we ended back up on West Street, north, of course, of the towers.

Q. You walked around by the water?

A. Yeah. All right? Walk around by the water and then walked back. It's almost like I walked around that parking lot that was on the other side now. Cars were blowing up. I guess stuff hit it, and they started -- you know, it was pretty weird. 

I don't know the time interval now, and now I came across the control guy from 21 engine, so because -- he didn't know where -- so it was kind of like we had to see each other. He was asking where the captain was. I didn't know if the captain was behind me or not. You didn't know, like I said, at the time I didn't know where anybody was then, if they followed us behind. 

I would have to assume that -- you know, I didn't feel good about it, because I didn't assume -- I knew I wasn't out of the building that long, so they would have been out -- it wouldn't have been that much time for them to get out, anybody that was behind me.

So then it was just a waiting game then. Now everybody was -- because he didn't know still where a couple of our other guys -- because they were running from if building, too, and they just got out, but they were in a different direction, but then it was just -- we were there the whole -- you know, till late, sometime at night, but it was basically any time that we wanted to try to get in, it was just -- became so many people were there now that they weren't really letting us get in or other crews were already in, and it was just basically a waiting game on West Street, and somewhere. I forget where else we were.

And then after a certain time, we headed back. During the time I said we were hoping to hear. We were hearing so many conflicting stories. We thought maybe our captain was out. We found out he was the only one, of course, that didn't get out, and like I said, the rest of the time, I barely remember what happened. It was kind of like I was in a fog at that time, but that's basically the gist of my story. 

BATTALION CHIEF KENAHAN: Okay, William. Thanks a lot for your information. The time now is 12:29, and this concludes the interview. 
https://static01.nyt.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110352.PDF



File No. 9110398
WORLD TRADE CENTER
TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
FIREFIGHTER PETE CASTELLANO
Interview Date: December 28, 2001
Transcribed by Maureen McCormick
Image result for IMAGES OF 911 FIREFIGHTERS 

BATTALION CHIEF LAKIOTIS: Today's date is December 27, 2001. The time is approximately 1155 hours. I am Battalion Chief Art Lakiotis, safety command, New York City Fire Department. I'm conducting an interview with -- 

FIREFIGHTER CASTELLANO: Fireman Castellano, 149. BATTALION

CHIEF LAKIOTIS: Fireman Castellano, Ladder 149. This is regarding the events of September 11, 2001. 

Q. Pete, if you just take me through when you started the response and how the events of the day just kind of unfolded for you.

A. I was working that day. We were scheduled for educational day. We got up to the rock. We went into house watch.

The first plane hit. We were watching it on TV. We started getting ready to go. The second plane hit. They told everybody go back to quarters, get your rigs and respond from quarters. We jumped in our cars, and we started going back to quarters. We took the BQE back to quarters. We got around the Manhattan Bridge. I saw Tower 2 come down. 

We went back to quarters. Our rig was already gone. The night crew must have taken the rig, but we didn't know. We grabbed our gear. We started heading over to Manhattan. We got to the tunnel. They wouldn't let anybody through the tunnel, so we started going to the Brooklyn Bridge. We went to the Brooklyn Bridge. People were running over the Brooklyn Bridge.

We couldn't take the cars, so we started walking over. As we were going halfway over, a car came across with a couple of firemen, and we jumped on top of the car. We got across.

We walked down to Broadway. They had a command center set up there. The captain was looking for some men. He asked me if I wanted to work with him. We hooked up with him. We were waiting for orders. Meanwhile, guys were coming out of Broadway from the building.

Now, I'm not sure when the Tower 2 came down, if we were coming over the bridge or when we got onto Broadway, but the smoke got heavy again, and I seen Tommy McGoff, Lieutenant McGoff, coming from up Broadway. He was dazed. He just kept on walking. I tried to talk to him. 

And then we went back to the command center, waited more time, and we got no orders, so we kind of went on our own into the area, the trade center area. We met a chief. He was looking for tower ladder guys. We operated with him for awhile. We were ordered down from the tower ladder because of a possible collapse at Tower 7. We went from there -- we went to West Street.

Another chief asked us to search financial center Building 1, see if anybody was in the building. We started making a search of that building. We were ordered out of that building. We got -- like collapsed. We were ordered out of that building.

Came down. Sat around for a little while waiting for another command. Building 2 or Building 7 about this time came down. There's some things that we did between that time, but Building 7 came down.

Went back onto the pile. Started, you know, looking through the pile, and, you know, what we could find, and then we came off the pile again. We hooked up with more of our guys, and we went back to Church Street, because our rig was on Church Street. We were looking for the guys that were working that day, that night, the night tour, and we hooked up with some of the guys from the night tour. 

We operated on Church Street with the tower. We did searches in buildings. Ten o'clock came. Some guys left. Some guys stayed. We hooked up with -- I hooked up -- me and Freddy with Vinnie Marsala -- hooked up with 18 engine and rescue 3, and we started working on a guy that was trapped on top of an elevator shaft, and I wound up working my way down to the elevator shaft.

I held the line for them while they tried to vent the hose. Worked there for a few hours. They relieved us. Another company -- another two companies relieved the guys that were in the hole. I came out of the hole, went back to the rig. Me and Freddy Marsala went back to the rig.

I got on the radio, and I asked the dispatcher -- it was around six o'clock in the morning. I asked what him does he want us to do with the rig. I got the rig. There's nobody else -- me and another fireman at the rig. He told me to hang on for a second. Hang on. He'll get back to me.

About a half hour later, he got back to us. He says, "Get whatever equipment that you can get. Go back to quarters." So we took -- scavenged up whatever equipment we could scavenge up. We took the rig back to quarters. We got our rig back into service at quarters and left the firehouse around -- I guess around 10 or 11.

Q. The lieutenant you said you saw, what unit was he from? Come up Broadway dazed?

A. Oh, like I seen Tommy McGoff, Lieutenant McGoff. 

Q. From?

A. Downtown Brooklyn company. I found out later he was there when the first fireman was killed by a jumper, and he went to help the fireman, and half his company went into the tower, and they were lost, and he couldn't find them. That's why he was in the state he was in, but that was -- I heard that story later. I didn't know what the story was. I tried to talk to him, but he just kept on walking, and that's -- and then there's a lot of other stories. You know, that's the basics of what I did that day. 

BATTALION CHIEF LAKIOTIS: Very good. The time is about approximately 12:05, and that concludes the interview. Thanks, Pete.
https://static01.nyt.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110398.PDF  


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