On Father’s Day, June 17th, 2001 a routine fire call in a hardware store/taxpayer structure of Astoria, Queens, erupted into a 5 alarm fire that claimed the lives of three FDNY members - Lieutenant John Downing, Firefighter Brian Fahey, and Firefighter Harry Ford. Additionally, this incident injured numerous others with nearly a dozen career ending.
As heavy as this tragedy was on FDNY firefighters, their families, and the people of New York City at the time, the event was overshadowed 3 months later by 9/11, deeming this fire by many to be The Forgotten Fire of The Forgotten 3.
We come together today, 20 years later, to discuss this tragic event in part one of a three part series dedicated to The 2001 Father’s Day Fire. Our goals in this episode are to pay honor to the fallen, hear the perspectives of the people that were there and directly related to the incident, and to glean lessons learned from the unintended outcomes of this unfortunate catastrophe.
Joining After The Fire host, Jon Nelson, and NFFF Director of Fire Programs, John Tippett, are Retired FDNY Firefighter of Rescue 4 on the day of the incident, John Gaine; Retired FDNY Senior Man of Rescue 4 on the day of the incident, Mike Milner; FDNY Battalion Chief & Captain of Ladder 116 on the day of the incident, Pat Horne; Retired FDNY Lieutenant & NFFF/FDNY Liaison, Joe Minogue; and current FDNY Chief of Safety and former Rescue 4 member, Michael Meyers.