SEPTEMBER 11
BEARING WITNESS TO HISTORY

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Rear view of jacket.


Location: World Trade Center
Source: Gift of Fire Department - City of New York


Related Objects



New York Fire Chief's equipment
Description: FDNY Battalion Chief Joseph Pfeifer wore this clothing and bunker gear on September 11.

Context: One of the first fire-and-rescue units to arrive at the World Trade Center was Engine 7, Ladder 1, led by Battalion Chief Joseph Pfeifer. He immediately set up a command center in the lobby of the north tower and sent firefighters upstairs to begin rescue work. When the south tower collapsed, sending blinding clouds of smoke and dust into the north tower, Pfeifer radioed his men to evacuate the building. Twenty-nine minutes later, the north tower also collapsed. In all, 343 New York firefighters, including the chief’s brother, Lt. Kevin Pfeifer, died in the World Trade Center collapse.

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Chief Pfeifer's bunker gear
Chief Joseph Pfeifer's gear still carries dust from the collapse of the Twin Towers.
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September 11 logbook
Duty logbook from September 11, 2001, for Chief Pfeifer's New York Fire Department Ladder Company 1.
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New York Fire Department Battalion Chief Joseph Pfeifer
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"They happened to be there on September 11 and they tilted their camera up..."
William Yeingst
September 11 Collecting Curator. Museum Specialist, Division of Social History

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