FDNY Engine 6 to Serve as WTC Tribute

Associated Press Writer

WARWICK, N.Y. (AP) -- Billy Green solemnly unfurled a length of hose during a ceremony Friday and handed it to other firefighters to be placed aboard Engine 6, crushed when the World Trade Center towers collapsed.

It was the first time since Sept. 11 that he'd seen the truck, which will go on display at a museum next month. Of the five firefighters on his crew who ran into the north tower, Green was the only one to survive.

"It's hard. I look inside and remember riding over,'' he said, wearing a T-shirt with the names of those from Engine Co. 6 who died: Lt. Thomas O'Hagan, and firefighters Thomas Holohan, Paul Beyer and William Johnston.

The truck, decontaminated of asbestos, was rescued from a Staten Island landfill by the New York State Museum. The ceremony was held to dedicate the engine, which still bore a faint "6'' on the front.

The cab was burned out and the front tires tattered, but the original hose was scrubbed clean. Four firefighters worked quietly, placing the hose precisely like they would if the engine were returning to service.

"It's an honor for us,'' said Al Sicignano of Brooklyn. "It's something they'd be doing if they were here. This is their last ride. I could just picture them. They were gung-ho.''

Holohan's widow, Colleen, holding one of her three children, wiped tears as she recalled the last Christmas party at the firehouse. "All the children were on top of the truck in the hose beds.''

In the middle of the party, an alarm went off and the firefighters lifted the children down from the truck, she said.

"You just remember all those things and how much of a family they were,'' she said.

The truck was decontaminated by inmates trained in asbestos removal at the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility, about 60 miles north of New York. The firefighters later thanked the inmates and shook their hands.

"Oh, man, I got no words to describe it,'' said inmate George Latorre of working on the truck.


New York City Firefighter Billy Green takes hose that was on Engine 6, background, when it responded to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and prepares to lay the cleaned hose in the hose bed of the engine on Friday, Aug. 9, 2002, at the Mid-Hudson Correctional Facility at Warwick, N.Y., where the engine and hose had been decontaminated. The decontaminated engine will be taken to the New York State Museum in Albany for a permanent display. Of five members of Engine 6 that entered the World TradeCenter, only Green survived.