Now we move to Battalion 57 in Brooklyn. They lost 21 men. Battalion Chief Dennis Cross, 60, went from a 2-year tour in Vietnam into the FDNY in 1964. He was following a family tradition. His father had been an FDNY firefighter, as is his son. His nickname was “Captain Fearless.”
An incredibly experienced firefighter, Cross was assigned by the Commissioner to help draft new firefighter regulations. He was a mentor to new chiefs. Promoted to Battalion Chief in 1990, he was assigned to Battalion 57 in Bed-Stuy. He never put in for department chief because he wouldn’t have had as many chances to go into burning buildings any more, and he would have been one more step removed from the men. His favorite adage was “Take care of men and men will take care of you.” His wife was watching the day unfold on tv and when the towers came down, she knew he was gone too. He would always go into the fire as far as anyone. She considered it a “miracle” when his body was found in the rubble at the end of the first week. He rode in to the site with Captain Timothy Stackpole.