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Thread: Closure Comes On His Birthday

  1. #1
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Closure Comes On His Birthday

    Closure Comes On His Birthday
    ID of fire captain killed at WTC confirmed

    By William Murphy

    June 13, 2003

    On the day that would have been his 49th birthday, a bone fragment from the World Trade Center was identified as that of fire Capt. Brian Hickey, his family said yesterday.

    "Brian was so extraordinary and this is just another proof of that," his wife, Donna, said in a telephone interview from the family home in Bethpage. "Of course he would do it on this date."

    The official ruling from the medical examiner's office came Wednesday and top Fire Department officials and three of Hickey's colleagues from Rescue 4 in Woodside went to the Hickey home to make the official notification.

    "It's the one question you ask yourself every day when you wake up and when you go to bed," Donna Hickey said. "It's definitely a closure. I'm relieved. It's a weight off us, but it's a good weight."

    The Fire Department said yesterday that DNA testing had also identified the partial remains of Lt. Vernon Richard of Ladder 7 in Manhattan.

    Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and other top officials plan to attend Richard's funeral today in Spring Valley, N.Y.

    At Hickey's company, Rescue 4 on Queens Boulevard, firefighters were preparing yesterday for another memorial service, this time for the three firefighters who died in the line of duty on Father's Day 2001 at a hardware store fire and explosion in Astoria.

    Two of the victims were from Rescue 4; the other from Ladder 163, also in Woodside. Hickey was the commanding officer of Rescue 4 that day and survived, but died 11 weeks later at the trade center.

    Sitting in the firehouse yesterday, the talk switched between the two tragedies. Lt. Tim Kelly, a 23-year veteran, said the DNA identification of Hickey might restore some sense of hope to the families of 1,300 trade center victims whose remains were never found.

    "It might be something for them. After all this time, it might give them some hope," Kelly said.

    Kelly and other members of Rescue 4 and Engine 292, with which it shares a firehouse, will attend a memorial Mass this morning for all their firefighters who have died in the line of duty.

    On Sunday, they will attend a memorial Mass for the Father's Day dead and help unveil a new street sign in Astoria honoring all three.

    Firefighter John Gaine, a 14-year veteran, said he still remembers that Father's Day, when Rescue 4 was on the Triboro Bridge on the way to a call in Manhattan. The call was unfounded and the dispatcher had them turn around at the Bronx toll plaza and sent them to the Astoria fire, which they could see from the bridge.

    "We were a little bit out of the batting order," Kelly said. Left unsaid, was that if they had been in quarters in Woodside or in Manhattan, they would not have gotten to the scene before the explosion.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Sept. 11 remains identified as Woodside FDNY officer

    Sept. 11 remains identified as Woodside FDNY officer

    By Alex Ginsberg 06/19/2003

    Donna Hickey got a birthday present June 11

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