Hero FDNY Firefighter Who Died of 9/11-Related Cancer Memorialized with Plaque at Harlem Firehouse

NY Daily News - April 07, 2018

by CATHERINE GIOINO LARRY MCSHANE

As a kid, Stefanie Pennachio viewed her Uncle Jimmy as a hero. His death one year ago didn’t change her belief.

Family, friends and fellow firefighters gathered Friday to unveil a plaque honoring revered firefighter Jimmy Lanza of Ladder Co. 43 inside his old Harlem firehouse.

Lanza died in April 2017, killed by brain cancer caused by toxins he was exposed to during his long hours working at the World Trade Center site.

“Jimmy was just saintly,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. “I think he worked more hours doing things for others than he worked as a firefighter.

“He just couldn’t do enough for other people.”

Lanza famously joined firefighters who ran into the collapsed north tower on that September morning, miraculously pulling 16 survivors from the rubble of a WTC stairwell.

“My uncle was my childhood hero,” recalled Pennachio. “And also as an adult, he was too. We were very close. He was my godfather ... He loved and supported all of us.”