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Midtown Firehouse Remembers 15 Colleagues Killed On September 11

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- For some New York City firefighters, the news of Osama bin Laden's death brought a somber reaction. That was especially true at at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9  -- which lost 15 colleagues on September 11, 2001.

Captain Tom Venditto was working when word came that the leader of Al Qaeda leader's had been killed by Navy SEALs. His firetruck was greeted by a cheering crowd in Times Square and people wanting to take pictures.

"[It's] wonderful for the families to see that the public still thinks about them and remembers their loss and their sorrow," Venditto told 1010 WINS' Sonia Rincon.

1010 WINS' Sonia Rincon Speaks With Some Of New York's Bravest At The Firehouse


On a wall at the firehouse -- located at 8th Avenue and 48th Street --there are 15 photos of the brave men who gave their lives to save others on 9/11.

"Everyday when I wake up and I see my own family, I think about them. Everyday I come to work, I look at the memorial on the wall and I think about them," Venditto said.

Engine 54, Ladder 4 Memorial
Engine 54, Ladder 4 Memorial Photos (credit: Sonia Rincon, 1010 WINS)

"It's never far from your thoughts here in this house. I mean, the moment you walk through the door, you see the pictures," Firefighter Andrew Sforza said.

It has been a decade since Maureen Santora buried her son Chris' remains. That day, she was the very picture of heartbreak, but on Monday she was elated.

"I'm just filled with joy that my son is up in heaven, screaming and yelling and saying 'we got him.. we got him ma,'" she told CBS 2's Don Dahler.

Firefighter John Fila was more somber, knowing that he could have been killed that day. He was supposed to be working, but switched shifts with Chris Santora.

"[Santora's] parents have told me that it's just the way it happened. There is nothing you can do about it, but you think about it every day," Fila said.

Carl Asaro Jr., whose father was among the 15 firefighters killed, called the capture of bin Laden "a victory." He said it was amazing to join his father's colleagues to commemorate something joyful.

"Ten years without capturing this person and to finally do it, you know, some people maybe have lost hope. I know for a while I did -- saying 'what does it matter now if they find him or not,' but now we got him and it really comes to light that it is a big deal," he said.


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