Submitted by his Family
Joseph died while battling a fire at the Deutsche Bank Building‚ 130 Liberty Street‚ New York‚ NY. His unit‚ Ladder 5/Engine 24‚ was called at the second alarm and was dispatched to the 14th floor of this former 40-story building‚ which was being demolished and abated simultaneously. At the time of insertion‚ his unit had the only fire hose‚ and they were searching for a working standpipe. What they didn’t know‚ nor did the over 250 firefighters that ended up fighting this seven alarm blaze‚ was that the water pipes in the building were cut away and removed for scrap metal. Joe and firefighter Robert Beddia died after their oxygen tanks ran out‚ and a third member of their unit was injured. Their brothers could not reach them in time‚ due to heavy plastic and wood barriers in stairwells and windows.
Joseph grew up and lived in Brooklyn‚ attended city schools‚ and graduated with a BA in Liberal Arts from Hunter College [CUNY]. Joe’s hobbies were bodybuilding‚ which he won awards for in high school‚ and cooking. While off duty‚ he worked as a bartender in local restaurants and pubs. Joe studied carpentry and used this knowledge and skill to remodel his home. Joe doted on his wife‚ Linda‚ and their two children‚ Mia Rose (4) and Joseph (1).
Joe entered the New York City Fire Department on May 9‚ 1999. He quickly fell in love with the job and his assigned house. Joe had worked details and exercises in other fire houses‚ but the Greenwich Village Fire House became his home away from home. Joe always said it was the greatest job in the world; what could be better than working with a great bunch of people who love their job and are great cooks as well? The Greenwich Village Fire House was one of the hardest hit during the ‘911’ terrorist attack. Engine 24 and Ladder 5 lost eleven men that day. Two of those men were to be in Joe’s wedding party the following year. Six years later‚ they lost two more heroes in what would have been the shadow of the Twin Towers buildings.
Joe’s warm smile‚ sound advice‚ and good nature caused all who met him to believe that they had known him forever. His kind heart and hard work ethics came through in everything he did. Joe extended himself to those in need at every opportunity; be it shoveling snow‚ carrying packages‚ working an extra shift‚ or changing a baby’s diaper. You never had to ask‚ and he always did it with a smile.
Joey was truly everyone’s best friend! Anyone who ever met him has a piece missing from their heart on his passing.