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Irish Firefighter Becomes 124th Officer To Die After 9/11 Attacks

Irish Firefighter Becomes 124th Officer To Die After 9/11 Attacks

A 9/11 firefighter has become the 124th officer to die after of breathing in the toxic air at the Twin Towers.

Like many other firefighters, Brian J Masterson worked tirelessly at the scene of the terrorist attack in New York on the day the planes struck the World Trade Center in 2001. Him and his colleagues continued their work for months afterwards.

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The 61-year-old father-of-three and died this week from esophageal cancer directly linked to him being exposed to the dust at Ground Zero.

Brian is one of numerous first responders who've been diagnosed with the disease since 2001.

The Irishman's funeral was held on Friday in his adoptive home of Walden, New York. Tributes have been paid to a "dedicated" firefighter originally from Lissavaddy, Co Longford, Ireland.

Firefighters gather for a ceremony paying tribute to the firefighters killed in the terror attacks. Credit: PA Images

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Brian was described by one colleague as the "Captain of his soul and of the hearts of those who knew him".

Claudia E. Thomas, Founder of the 9/11 Rescue Workers and Friends Forum Group, spoke movingly of Brian's legacy.

She said: "9/11 FDNY Responder Brian Masterson was the Captain of his soul and of the hearts of those who knew him.

"A member of Engine 93 Ladder 45 Battalion 13 in Washington Heights, and later Marine 9 (Fireboat II).

"His life was dedicated to the job he loved and started out in back in 1990 and survived several life threatening emergencies.

"But such is the metal of one like Brian, who passed January 22, 2017, from related cancer, age 61. 'Fair winds and following seas' brother!"

There were many unsung heroes who took part in the rescue mission on the day the towers were attacked, including one Hollywood actor.

Steve Buscemi At Ground Zero

Steve Buscemi was a firefighter in New York from 1980-1984 before he began his acting career.

The day after the attacks on the Twin Towers, he turned up at his old fire station ready for work. He spent the next week doing 12-hour shifts and helping his former colleagues search for the bodies of the missing. When people tried to get photos or interview him - he outright refused.

Buscemi had worked as a New York City Fire Department (FDNY) firefighter with Engine 55 in Little Italy. He stayed in touch with some of his old fire company colleagues, even when he went on to be a Hollywood superstar. He understood how many firefighters were missing along with the rest of the innocent people who'd been affected by the terrorist attacks, and just wanted to help out.

Some time after, he broke his silence and said: "It was a privilege to be able to do it.

"It was great to connect with the firehouse I used to work with and with some of the guys I worked alongside. And it was enormously helpful for me because while I was working, I didn't really think about it as much, feel it as much.

"It wasn't until I stopped that I really felt the full impact of what had happened. It would have been much harder for me to get through it if I hadn't been able to do that."

He has since made a documentary in an attempt to encourage others to join the FDNY.

'A Good Job' also has a message to current firefighters - don't be afraid to ask for help after any trauma they may have suffered.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

James Dawson

James Dawson is a Journalist at LADbible. He has contributed articles to LADbible’s ‘Knowing Me, Knowing EU’ series on the EU referendum, the 'Electoral Dysfunction' series on the 2017 general election, the ‘U OK M8?’ series tackling mental health amongst young men, and for its ‘Climate Change’ initiative in partnership with National Geographic.

 

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