Firefighter Wanted to Be Where the Action Was

Sept. 25, 2001

Neil Leavy got just what he wanted when he was assigned to Engine Company 217 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn. Leavy, 34 and a lifelong Staten Islander, wanted to be where the action was. His cousin Michael Leavy, retired from Engine 217, said: "He picked that house to go. He knew Bed-Stuy was really busy."

Answering the call to the World Trade Center, Leavy made radio contact from the lobby of the South Tower to say that he was headed toward a stairwell to search for survivors. Then the tower collapsed, and Leavy was never heard from again.

Five days later, they pulled his body from the rubble.

Leavy, a graduate of New Jersey City University in 1996 with a bachelor of science degree in finance, had once worked in the World Trade Center as a trader on the New York Mercantile Exchange. He had another cousin, Bob Leavy, who also was a firefighter for Ladder 103.

"Because of the tradition of his family, he always wanted to be a firefighter," said Michael Leavy.

Neil Leavy is survived by his father, John, a retired New York City policeman; his mother, Ann, and a brother, Mark.