Since Lt. Geoffrey Guja was the last posted, here I will share a story from “WTC: In Their Own Words” told by Lt. Keith Ruby. Like Guja, he came from HQ in Brooklyn, only Ruby had crammed into an FDNY Suburban with about 20 others for the ride. He met up with Guja at 10 House where they both found gear. (Ruby had already put in a few minutes to call everyone on the 10 House roster for recall.) He and Guja headed west on Liberty which skirts the south side of the South Tower. They were headed to the Command Post, heads down, collars up. Debris was falling. Guja was about five yards ahead.
Ruby heard an explosion on his right and reflexively turned left for cover. The debris came under his feet, swept him 50 feet along the sidewalk and through the glass window of a coffee shop on the ground floor of the Deutsche Bank Building. When he woke and the blackness thinned a little, he started to yell and firefighters from Ladder 10 came to dig him out. Ruby had surgery on the 11th and again on the 12th. “I woke up one evening and a retired captain came to see me. I told him my story. He said it was incredible. He told me it wasn’t an explosion, it was the South Tower collapsing. I said that’s impossible. I was right across from the South Tower. He told me that both towers were gone. He told me I was the only one they found alive. The lieutenant I was with (Guja) was killed. He was blown into a stairway and buried in debris. His body was recovered three days later.”
I will begin listing the firefighters from Brooklyn tomorrow.