Assistant Chief Donald Burns, 61, had a 39-year career in the FDNY. On 9/11 he was a Citywide Tour Commander. Burns had set up a command center in the South Tower just minutes before it collapsed. Decorated five times during his 39-year career, he was respected as a brilliant tactician and strategist. “Anything you ever wanted to know about the Fire Department, he would have the answer,” Deputy Asst Chief Al Turi said at his funeral. “If you could be half as good a chief as he was you’d still be a good chief.”
The son of a retired battalion chief, Burns was the father of three grown children.