When Allan Tarasiewicz was 33 he was the oldest rookie in his class. This former Marine had also once been a coal miner. “Taz,” 45, loved a challenge, and his 11 years with the FDNY fit the bill. On September 10th he had been detailed to a mandatory overtime shift with Rescue 4 and he rode in with them from Queens. The shortest man of Rescue 5, he took a lot of teasing and “dished it right back” said his wife. Her favorite story was the time he made breaded chicken cutlets for the firehouse dinner. When one of the men complained about how tough his was, he discovered he was really attempting to eat a fried kitchen sponge.
Taz and his wife had bought and were fixing up a 100-year-old house near the fire station. Left largely gutted and ready for rehab on September 11th, the new roof, front steps and finish were provided by other firefighters who came to help.
Tarasiewicz was found on what had been the 40th floor of the South Tower.