Firefighter Robert McMahon

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Robert McMahon, 35, never had a chance to meet his second son who was born in January 2002, although he had recently finished renovating their home preparing for his arrival. He had met his wife while volunteering at a camp for children with cancer. McMahon was a man of many interests and seemed always in motion. “I used to call him MacGyver,” said a friend, “because he pretty much could do anything. If he didn’t know how to do something, he would do it anyway, and he would do it really well.”

This 9-year FDNY veteran was also working towards a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with a focus on painting and photography. Ladder Co. 20 is located on the border of Little Italy and SoHo, Manhattan’s premier arts district at the time. He loved where he was and his access to both good art and good food. He knew the best local vendors for fresh mozzarella or ravioli and GQ once featured his lasagna recipe. “You’ve got to use fresh Italian parsley,” he said. “It’s the fresh ingredients women love.”

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