Laura Desperito is desperately searching for a Josephine who survived the World Trade Center disaster. She doesn't know who Josephine is-or even her last name. But she wants to find out.

All Desperito knows is that her husband, Andrew, a firefighter, saved the woman last Tuesday. She found out about the woman and her husband's heroism from Capt. Kenny Erb of Engine Co. 1 when he arrived at her East Patchogue home at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday to tell her that Andrew had died in the disaster. Now Laura wants her three children- Nicole, 13, Anthony, 10 and David, 6-to know about the woman their father saved. "He ordered his men out," Laura said. "He said, 'I'll be just a few steps behind you.' He just happened to be a few steps too close to the building."

Andrew, 43, always wanted to be a firefighter. But he first became a police officer in 1984 until he received his call of a lifetime from the fire department in 1987."He was ecstatic," Laura recalled. "It was the best thing that ever happened to him. "He rose to the rank of lieutenant and worked at Engine No. 1 on 31st Street in Chelsea.

Just last month the family had spent nearly a week vacationing at Walt Disney World. "It was like the best vacation we ever had," Laura said, noting that the children were a little older now than when they had taken them on previous vacations and had more stamina to stay in the park longer.

Laura knew Andrew was the man she would marry shortly after they met in 1979. "It didn't take me long because he always treated me like a queen," Laura said. They married on Sept. 25, 1982, and would have celebrated their 19th anniversary next week. The couple already had plans to vacation in Hawaii and Las Vegas for their 25th anniversary in 2007, just as they had done for their 10th anniversary.

Andrew loved to cook. "People would say, 'Oh, Laura, this is the best dish I ever had,' and I'd say, 'Tell my husband,'" she said.

Last Tuesday morning, Laura walked into a Sam's Club store and saw everyone gathered around TV sets. She rushed home. "Everyone was calling to say, 'Oh, I think I saw him [on TV],'" Laura recalled. She finally reached the firehouse by telephone. "They said, 'Well everybody made it back. We're hoping Andy's in the hospital,'" she said. That's all she heard until the wee hours of Wednesday morning.