FROM THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:
(Originally published by the Daily News on September 12, 2001. This was written by Juan Gonzalez.)
A block from the mountain of rubble that had once been the World Trade Center, Fire Chief Tom McCarthy stumbled toward a traffic divider and sat down to catch his breath.
The back of his uniform had been ripped away, his right arm was in a sling and his head was so covered with ash that his eyes seemed like tiny slits.
“Don’t move, Chief,” said a paramedic who rushed up to help. “We’ll get you to an ambulance and a hospital right away.”
“I’m okay,” McCarthy said, waving him off. “Take care of the guys in worse shape first.”
The medic started pouring water over McCarthy’s head and eyes to wash away the ash.
“Feels great,” the chief said, breaking into a big smile. “I can see again!”
McCarthy and the men of Battalion 32 left their firehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn, yesterday morning after the second plane crashed into the second tower at the World Trade Center.
“We were watching it on the TV, then a few seconds later we felt the explosion all the way in Red Hook. That’s when I knew it was gonna be a long day.”
More at the NY Daily News.