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Press Releases / 2006 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 16, 2006

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

FIRE COMMISSIONER SCOPPETTA TO LAY COMMEMORATIVE WREATH MARKING THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE 23RD STREET FIRE

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano will join firefighters, FDNY families and other members of the Department tomorrow in a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 23rd Street fire, which occurred on October 17, 1966.

Prior to September 11, 2001, the 23rd Street fire represented the single worst loss of New York City firefighters in the line of duty and is remembered as one of the most tragic events in the 142-year history of the Department.  Twelve members of every rank, from a probationary firefighter to a Deputy Chief, made the Supreme Sacrifice when the ground floor of the Wonder Drug Store at 23rd Street and Broadway collapsed. The five-alarm fire originated in a storage area, which was concealed by a four-inch thick cinderblock wall illegally constructed by the building’s previous owner.

The following gave their lives on that day: Deputy Chief Thomas A. Reilly and Firefighter William F. McCarron, both of Division 3; Battalion Chief Walter J. Higgins of Battalion 7; Lieutenant Joseph Priore, Firefighter James V. Galanaugh, Firefighter Joseph Kelly, Firefighter Daniel L. Rey, Firefighter Bernard A. Tepper, all of Engine Company 18; and Lieutenant John J. Finley, Firefighter John G. Berry, Firefighter Rudolph F. Kaminsky and Firefighter Carl Lee, all of Ladder Company 7.

WHO:

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano, Chief of Fire Prevention Howard Hill and many FDNY members and their families

WHAT:

Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the 23rd Street fire

WHERE:

Corner of 23rd Street and Broadway in Manhattan

WHEN:

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 at noon

Photo-op

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon / Seth E. Andrews, FDNY (718) 999-2056

http://www.nyc.gov/fdny

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