Today’s New York Times reports on the death of three firefighters in New York City:
The fireball burst through the floorboards on Sunday, consuming the room in flames and trapping two firefighters from Rescue Company 3 by the single window overlooking the icy pavement five stories below.
Four other firefighters had already jumped to the ground from a room next door; two would die. The last two men on the floor were alone in the flames.
“I got a rope, but I got nothing to tie it to,” Firefighter Jeffrey Cool said to his partner, Joseph DiBernardo, whose father recounted the story of their escape yesterday.
‘”Throw it to me and I’ll support you,”‘ Firefighter DiBernardo replied.
Firefighter Cool tossed the rope, and Firefighter DiBernardo tied it to the window’s child safety bars and lowered him from the window, fire officials said.
Suddenly, the rope became taut and snapped, sending Firefighter Cool falling to the ground, said Joseph DiBernardo Sr., a retired deputy fire chief.
But Firefighter DiBernardo was still able to use the remaining piece of rope for his own escape, lowering himself until, when he was about 10 feet from the ground, the bars ripped from the window frame and he fell.
“They saved each other’s lives,” said his father, who gave the dramatic replay for reporters outside Weill Cornell Medical Center, where his son was being treated.
Where do we find such men?