Saturday, August 18, 2007


Our prayers go out to all the members and their families

By VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press Writer
22 minutes ago

NEW YORK - A seven-alarm fire ripped through an abandoned skyscraper next to ground zero in Lower Manhattan Saturday, killing two firefighters who were responding to the blaze.

One of the firefighters killed was identified as Joseph Graffagnino, 34, of Brooklyn. He was a member of Ladder 5, which lost 11 members on Sept. 11, 2001.

The name of the other slain firefighter was not immediately released because officials were not able to reach his family, Bloomberg said.

Five or six other firefighters were taken to a hospital but were expected to be released, Bloomberg said. No civilians were hurt.

former Deutsche Bank office building, vacant since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks turned it into a toxic nightmare

Construction crews had already dismantled 14 of the building's 40 stories — reaching the 26th floor on Tuesday. Some firefighters used stairs to reach the burning upper floors of the building, just steps from where 343 firefighters lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

The plume of gray smoke that trailed above the site of the World Trade Center raised concerns that toxic substances in the building could be spreading.
We were here in less than three and a half minutes. There were 87 units, 475 firefighters, fight a truly difficult fire, because of the smoke conditions as well as the fire. We had to lift lines from the street, with ropes in order to get it up to the 17th floor, because that building, being under demolition, being in the condition that it is. …
Terrible event, terrible tragedy — that house being hit again makes it all the more devastating.