BC Lawrence Stack, 58, spent six years in the Navy, ending with a tour in Vietnam in 1966. After returning to New York, he had a short stint with the NYPD before following family tradition and joining the FDNY. His father had 38 years with the department, his brother retired as a Captain after 25 years, his brother-in-law retired as a Lieutenant after 25 years and both his sons were appointed in 1994.
Stack was appointed in 1968, made a Lieutenant in 1981, a Captain in 1984, Battalion Chief in 1990 and assigned to the Safety Operating Battalion in 1994. This meant he was called to all fires of two alarms and higher, becoming the on-scene safety officer. After 25 years as a firefighter and fire officer assigned to Manhattan and Brooklyn, he knew every type of building in the city. His job was to be another set of eyes on the fire for the men, or – as his wife called it – their “sixth sense,” to keep them safe. After a line-of-duty-death, he would spend months interviewing everyone involved and writing the reports. That morning he had been finishing up his report on the Father’s Day Fire which had taken the lives of three FDNY earlier that year.
Stack was in the lobby of the Marriott when the South Tower fell. He was initially trapped but managed to wriggle free from his turnout coat. He then helped a lieutenant pull Lt. Citarella free from the rubble. Stack was last seen helping a civilian with a severed Achilles tendon who couldn’t walk. He and Ray Downey were on West Street helping that civilian when the North Tower came down on them.
The first of his six grandchildren – and the only one he had a chance to meet – was born the week before 9/11.