FDNY firefighter dies from cancer linked to 9/11 rescue work
A New York City firefighter who rescued the body of his older brother from the rubble after 9/11 died on Saturday of pancreatic cancer linked to the rescue work he completed at the scene.
Danny Foley, 46, spent eleven days hunting through the ruins of the World Trade Center to find the body of his 32-year-old brother Tommy in 2001.
A 21-year veteran of the fire department, the father of five died on February 22 after receiving a cancer diagnosis last year.
FDNY firefighter Danny Foley, 46, died on Saturday of pancreatic cancer linked to the rescue work at Ground Zero
Danny is the third member of the Foley family to die as a result of 9/11. His father, Tom Foley Sr., also passed away of cancer related to the rescue work in 2016, according to Fox News.
‘The Foley family wishes to thank family and friends for their support and love over the last year during Danny’s battle, including the New York City Fire Department, especially Danny’s brothers in Rescue Company 3,’ the family said in a statement.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro commended Foley as another ‘brave member of our department’.
‘The attacks on the World Trade Center have claimed yet another brave member of our Department, and the Foley family,’ he said in a statement.
‘Daniel Foley, like his brother Thomas who was killed on September 11th, dedicated his life to rescuing others. We will never forget them’.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also paid tribute to Foley, calling him the ‘best of this city’.
‘Firefighter Daniel Foley gave his life for our city,’ de Blasio wrote in a tweet.
‘Just like his older brother Thomas did on 9/11. They represented the best of this city and we will never forget them. God bless their memory and their family.’
Danny Foley, pictured here to the left with his widow Carrie and five children, is the third member of the Foley family to die as a result of 9/11 . His older brother Tommy died on September 11, 2001, in the attack while his father Tom Sr. also died of 9/11-related cancer
Firefighter Danny Foley spent 11 days searching the rubble for his brother Tommy, pictured
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio paid his respects to the Foley family on Danny’s death
Foley was diagnosed with cancer on February 24, 2019, almost 18 years after the attack, his widow Carrie Benedict Foley confirmed.
‘It’s continuing to affect people and their families through every kind of illness,’ she told USA Today.
‘Nineteen, 18 years later, you find you have cancer’.
Danny first joined the FDNY in 1991 assigned to Ladder 49 in the Bronx and throughout his 21 years of service, he was cited 10 times by the fire department for bravery and received three departmental medals for rescues he completed.
Foley’s older brother Tommy, 32, was killed in the 9/11 attacks and his family established the Thomas J. Foley Memorial Foundation to educate people on the events of September 11, 2001.
‘On the first night, Danny promised his mother and father he wouldn’t come home until he brought his brother home with him,’ Lieutenant Mickey Conboy of Rescue Co. 3 told WCBS on Sunday.
‘On the 11th day, Danny miraculously found his brother Tommy in the rubble at the World Trade Center’.
Tommy Foley, pictured, died aged 32, in the 9/11 attacks and his brother Danny was reassigned to the Rescue Company 3, the last unit he worked in after his death to aid the rescue efforts
Danny Foley, right, pictured on his wedding day with his wife Carrie and brother Tommy. Both brothers have died as a result of the 9/11 attacks and illnesses related to the rescue work
Danny Foley, pictured right with his wife and five children, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 2019, an illness related to his work on the Ground Zero rescue site
Danny was not originally assigned to the recovery efforts with Rescue Company 3 but he continued to come back to the site every day after the 11-day hunt for his brother before eventually being transferred.
Rescue Company 3 lost eight members during the 9/11 attacks but Danny Foley is the first to die from pancreatic cancer caused by the effects of working on the scene.
More than 220 firefighters have died as a result of illnesses related to the Ground Zero rescue and recovery work.
According to FDNY spokesperson Jim Long, one person dies every two weeks from a 9/11-related illness.
A firefighter breaks down after the World Trade Center buildings collapsed September 11, 2001. Many firefighters are now battling illnesses related to the emergency response work
Smoke still rises from Ground Zero of the collapsed World Trade Center Wednesday, September 19, 2001, more than a week after the terrorist attacks in New York. The poor air conditions later resulted in some emergency workers in the rescue site developing cancer
In 2019, President Donald Trump signed a bill which would extend the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to allow continued compensation for those injured in the attacks or who are now suffering from illnesses from working at the scene.
The bill had originally been due to expire in 2020 but the new bill, which was championed by comedian Jon Stewart, will now continue until 2090.
On July 26, 2019, Danny Foley and his wife Carrie were in the White House as President Trump signed the extension into effect.
As of December 2019, 102,049 general responders, FDNY, survivors and others have registered with the World Trade Center Health Program, of which 2,691 are deceased.
The attacks killed 2,977, 2606 of whom were in Lower Manhattan.