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Firefighter Stephen P. Russell

Engine 55

Firefighter Russell's Act of Heroism

Over 400 first responders lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Heroically performing their sworn duty, these firefighters, members of the NYPD and PAPD, and numerous other rescue workers will forever be remembered for their sacrifice.

My Hero

Stephen P. Russell was a firefighter with Engine Co. 55 in Little Italy. Steve and his fellow firefighters were investigating a gas leak nearby on September 11, 2001. They rushed to the towers and joined other FDNY units in evacuating those moving down from the upper floors.

They called him "MacGyver" at the firehouse. He could fix anything, and do anything that needed to be done. He worked wonders with wood. He was a member of the Carpenters Union. He was so skilled that he built his own furniture and many items for the firehouse as well. He had even built a display case which has now become a memorial to him and his four fellow firefighters who died at the World Trade Center.

Steve was born and raised in Arverne (Rockaway Beach), New York, and lived in his house on Jamaica Bay. Steve loved the water. He was a master scuba diver, a sailor, and an avid water-skier.

Steve was very close to his family. He lived with his parents, Marie and Clifford. His older brother, Clifford, spent many days searching for his brother in the smokey rubble. To his sister-in-law, Christina, he was more than a brother. To his nephew, Evan, he was a protector. To his nephew, Cliff, he was a dive buddy and best friend. To his nephew, Christopher, he was godfather and mentor. To his niece, he was the best uncle a girl could ask for. He often called her his own. Steve was the youngest of three sons. His brother, William, resides in New Hampshire with his wife Adrienne.

We will always remember his big beautiful eyes and his love for life.

Tribute submitted by C. Russell.
Information courtesy of the Remember 9/11/2001 memorial site on


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