To all our Fire Service Brothers and Sisters:
It was a chilly, winter night when I entered the firehouse in which I work at in Canarsie, Brooklyn.

When I entered the quarters of Engine 257, Ladder 170, and the 58 Battalion, it was business as usual. There was a lot of happy, smiling faces and of course a great deal of joking around( busting chops) in the kitchen.

Some guys were packing up their belongings and heading home to their families, while others, like myself, were reporting for duty for the 6 X 9 tour.

Due to a surplus in manpower, I would not work with the guys in L-170 tonight, but instead with guys in L-113 "The Rats". As I walked out the door of Canarsie's Bravest, I never knew that when I said, "Take care guys and have a safe tour," it would be that last time I spoke to Lt. Cavalieri, Chris Bopp and Jimmy Bohan.

At approximately 0434 hrs on the morning of Friday, December 18, 1998, the brothers of E257, L-170, Bn-58 responed to a phone alarm at 17 Vandalia Ave. Little did they, I, or we know that this would be the last alarm that Joey, Chris and Jimmy, working in L-170, would respond too. The fire seemed almost routine until something tragic happened. The inside team of L-170 would never return to their firehouse again. I recieved the call
around 7:00 am and I knew something bad had happened. I left the quarters of L-113 and returned to the company that I belonged too, only to find out that three friends were gone, gone forever.

The scene was bad, Chiefs, Fire Marshalls, Firemen, Cops and of course, a lot of people in suits that I have never seen before. When I walked into quarters, E-257, L-170, and Bn-58 were not there.

I knew the news was not good. Engine 225, and Squad 252 were in front of quarters and a lot of guys were hugging and crying. After a few minutes, I learned that three members of LADDER 170 were gone. Their shoes were still scattered on the apparatus floor only never to be filled again, and the riding position board displayed their names and positions.
The pain and sorrow that the men of E-257, L-170 and the BN-58 share along with the brothers in E-262 (where Bohan was assigned) and L-150 (where Cavalieri was promoted from) is unexplainable.

This "Black Friday", December 19, 1998 will never be forgotten and neither will LT. Joseph Cavalieri, FF Christopher Bopp, and FF James Bohan (assigned E-262). These three
brothers and friends, were true heroes who layed their lives down for the people of the City of New York.

Please say a prayer for Joey, Chris, and Jimmy, who were taken from us, and for Frank Nastro(L-170) , John Adinolfi(L-170), Lt Young (E-257), Charles Murphy (E-257) Al Trapanese(E-257) Mike Ryan #2(E-257), Jack
Paglino(E-257), The officers and members of E-290, L-103, and Squad 252 who tried everything possible, myself for should have been there, and of course to all of the brothers, cops, and EMS personel that responded to Third Alarm Box-5-5-5-5-4080 at 17 Vandalia Ave in Brooklyn, NY on
"Black Friday" December 18, 1998.


Timothy Wodicka L-170 FDNY

[This message has been edited by ChiefHank (edited 12-23-98).]