PATRICK BYRNE, 39, of New York, studied accounting for two years in community college, but ``being confined to a chair _ it wasn't him,'' said his mother, Anne Byrne. So Byrne started his own roofing company in the mid 1980s, and eventually became a firefighter, graduating from the fire academy in 1994. ``He was an excellent firefighter who knew his job,'' said Byrne's fire Capt. Thomas Giordano. Whenever a family member would ask Byrne what he did at the firehouse, his mother said he would reply, ``Fighting fires, saving lives.'' His mother said the response was really ``tongue-in cheek,'' but ``that's what they do, isn't it?