FDNY family's portrait of bravery


A firefighter on the mend from a deadly Bronx blaze got a boost last week when he was presented with a portrait of his late brother - an FDNY 9/11 hero he calls his guardian angel.

Brendan Cawley, 31, says he'll treasure Daily News cartoonist Bill Gallo's portrait of his older brother Michael, whom he credits with saving his life in the January blaze that killed two Bravest.

Cawley plans to frame his brother's portrait and give out copies at a benefit in Michael's honor, scheduled for 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 2 at Mulcahy's in Wantagh, L.I.

The event will raise money for the Mid-Hudson Valley Camp, a summer camp for needy children Michael was involved in.

"I think Michael was with me that day" of the fire, Brendan Cawley said. "He probably said, 'I can't let Brendan go - he's [going to] my benefit in April.'"

Brendan Cawley suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung after jumping from the fourth-story inferno Jan. 23.

Lt. Curtis Meyran and Firefighter John Bellew died from the fall, while three other Bravest suffered serious injuries.

"I pray every day for these guys, and for the families of the two that were lost, John [Bellew] and Lt. [Curtis] Meyran," he said. "Every day I get up and think about the Bellews and the Meyrans. They are forever in our hearts."

Originally published on March 14, 2005


Daily News cartoonist Bill Gallo (l.) presents Firefighter Brendan Cawley of Ladder Co. 27 with a portrait of his older brother Michael, a member of Ladder Co. 136 killed on 9/11.