FDNY Honors Bronx Firefighters On Anniversary Of Their Deaths
While the Fire Department continues to deal with the recent deaths of two of their own at the former Deutsche Bank building, the FDNY is also still healing from past tragedies.
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NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report on a ceremony honoring two firefighters killed last year in the Bronx.
Firefighters stood at attention outside Ladder 75 in the Bronx Monday to remember two of their own on the first anniversary of their deaths.
Lieutenant Howard Carpluk and firefighter Michael Reilly were killed battling a blaze inside a 99 cent store on Walton and Mount Eden Avenues on August 27th last year.
"I just miss him so much,” said Capluk’s Friend Patti Schmitt. “I can't believe it’s been a year, actually.”
A year after firefighters die in the line of a duty, a ceremony is held to dedicate a memorial plaque in their honor. For the sad occasion plaques were given to Carpluk's Engine 42, and Reilly's Engine 75.
Their families were given plaques as well.
"Today is a reminder to all of us of the courage of Lieutenant Harry Carpluk and Firefighter Mike Reilly and a reminder of the pain that we left behind are feeling,” said Scoppetta.
Reilly was 25 and had just joined the department and 43-year-old Carpluk was a 20-year veteran of the department.
For many of the longtime firefighters who attended the ceremony, Carpluk's death really hit them hard. They didn't only lose a great firefighter, but they also lost a dear friend.
"It has been a tough time for the family and friends,” said firefighter John Blake of FDNY Ladder 48. “Everybody still kind of gets together to think about him and celebrate him and always raise glass for him."
Carpluk's and Reilly's deaths perhaps could have been prevented. While battling the fire, the floor of the store caved in sending them crashing below. Structural changes had been made to the property that firefighters didn't know about.
"We crafted a bill that requires our buildings department to notify the FDNY when a permit for certain types of alterations is issued to a building,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “A few months ago I signed it into law and it will arm firefighters with a few more facts about the buildings that they are about to enter."
While that law may saves lives in the future, the plaques will be a reminder of past sacrifices.
— Dean Meminger