Thursday 8 December 2016

'We've survived the collapse. Now we're going to suffocate'

Not once, but twice, a twist of fate preserved the life of firefighter Kevin Murray on 9/11

Philip Sherwell in New York

Published 12/09/2011 | 05:00

A New York firefighter salutes during the singing of the US national anthem during the September 11 memorial ceremony in New York
A New York firefighter salutes during the singing of the US national anthem during the September 11 memorial ceremony in New York

In the East 2nd Street firehouse in Alphabet City, a once-gritty neighbourhood in downtown Manhattan, plaques line the walls in memory of the six colleagues from Ladder 11 who died on 9/11. There are photographs of Lt Mike Quilty, a big moustached character in his white officer's hat; and of Mike Cammarata, a baby-faced figure under his new fireman's helmet, just a few weeks on the job and, at 22, the youngest firefighter to die that day.

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Above the two engines stationed there now hangs the blackened sideplate of the Ladder 11 engine, all that was recovered. And in a mural on the back wall, a five dice and six dice are superimposed on the Ladder 11 emblem with the motto "Lucky Eleven".

Kevin Murray looks at the words with a rueful shake of his head. "That was us, always Lucky 11," he says. "Until 9/11."

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