Thomas Hetzel, 33, was attached to Ladder Co. 13 on the upper east side and is believed to have been rescuing victims at Two World Trade Center when it collapsed.

An Elmont resident, Hetzel went to H. Frank Carey High School in Franklin Square and studied liberal arts at Nassau Community College. A firefighter for more than five years in the city, he also was a member for 15 years of the Franklin Square Volunteer Fire Department.

"He wanted to be a firefighter since he was 5," said his sister, Doreen Hetzel. She recalled that as a youngster he once painted his bicycle red to emulate a fire engine. Hetzel received a commendation from the city because of his efforts in helping motorists during a major flood on FDR Drive. He is survived by his wife, Diana, and a daughter, Amanda, 2 years old.