Fire Hero Buried 8 Months After 9/11

Daily News Police Bureau

As a light mist fell outside, 600 mourners crowded a Brooklyn church yesterday for the funeral Mass of a Sept. 11 hero whose response that day literally was beyond the call of duty.

Bagpipers played "Amazing Grace" in honor of Firefighter James Coyle, 26, who rushed to the twin towers after the terror attacks even though he was on vacation.

The Rev. Kieran Harrington reminded mourners at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Marine Park that life is temporary. Life on Earth is a tent; only Heaven offers a permanent home, the priest said.

Coyle had been a member of the Fire Department just 10 months when he died. His relatives, friends and colleagues from Ladder Co. 3 in Manhattan filled the church pews yesterday.

Among them was Chris Tighe, 25, who graduated from the Fire Academy with Coyle and was friends with him for five years. Tighe, Coyle and their supervisor, Capt. Pat Brown, would get teased for taking yoga classes in the East Village. But the three single men had a good reason: they were looking to meet women to date.

"Jimmy was a fun guy, always going out," Tighe said. "But he wouldn't hesitate to help anybody in need."

Ladder Co. 3 lost a dozen men on Sept. 11, including Coyle and Brown.

Regina Coyle, 50, said she was grateful that her son's remains were finally recovered at Ground Zero, so the family could have a burial.

"We were lucky; a lot of people don't have anything," she said after the Mass. "He was a great kid, he really was."

Original Publication Date: 5/14/02