Thursday, July 12, 2018

FDNY Battalion Chief cannot forget brother lost on 9-11

1st FDNY battalion chief to enter the north tower on 9/11 is retiring
ABC News
By ENJOLI FRANCIS, ERIC NOLL ESTHER CASTILLEJO
Jul 11, 2018
"We looked at each other, wondering if we were both going to be OK. And then I gave him the same orders as the other officers," he said. "That was the last time I saw my brother Kevin."
Joe Pfeifer, right, is retiring from the New York Fire Department after 37 years of service.
After nearly 37 years on the job, Joe Pfeifer, the first battalion fire chief to enter the north tower on Sept. 11, 2001, will be retiring.

He told ABC News on Wednesday that Sept. 11, 2001, had started as a beautiful summer day. He was answering routine calls as a documentary crew followed along. He said they heard a plane noisily fly overhead. They then watched as it hit the World Trade Center.

"In that moment, I knew I was going to the largest incident of my life, the largest fire I've ever seen. And, I also knew that thousands of people were in need," Pfeifer told ABC News.

That summer day with its bright, blue skies quickly turned to darkness.

"Matter of fact, after the collapse, you couldn't even see a hand in front of your face," he said.

He was the first battalion fire chief to arrive and enter the north tower on Sept. 11. When he got there, he said, he heard there was a fire above the 78th floor so he ordered teams to go in and evacuate. One of those firefighters was his brother Lt. Kevin Pfeifer.

"We looked at each other, wondering if we were both going to be OK. And then I gave him the same orders as the other officers," he said. "That was the last time I saw my brother Kevin."

He said his brother's memory motivated him to continue.
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