“Seven in Heaven” is what Ladder 101 calls the men they lost on 9/11.
The Red Hook Raiders shared a firehouse with Engine 202. Located near what used to be one of the busiest piers on the Brooklyn waterfront, L101/E202 were just five minutes away from lower Manhattan through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. They had an easier time getting to the WTC site than many Manhattan companies who had more traffic to negotiate, and they emerged from the tunnel just in time to see the 2nd plane hit in front of them.
Ladder 101 parked their rig under the north pedestrian bridge and were assigned almost immediately to help evacuate people from Tower Two. The men of Engine 202 were still in the street awaiting orders when the rumble of the South Tower collapse sent them all diving into the parking garage under the World Financial Center. The men of 202 survived but their rig didn’t.
In 1867, New York City gave a fire truck to Columbia, SC, a town that had no fire equipment left after the destruction of the Civil War. The first fire carriage sank in a storm at sea on its way to being delivered. New York sent a replacement.
134 years later, students at White Knoll Middle School in Columbia, SC, started raising money to buy a fire engine for New York. In the end, through cake raffles, button sales and just plain asking for money, they raised almost $600,000 and bought a truck for Ladder 101. In March of 2008, the FDNY held an official ceremony to receive it.