Volume 75, Number 23 | Oct. 26 - Nov. 01, 2005

Deadly inferno

The Fire Department recently held a memorial ceremony marking 39 years since the Wonder Drug Store fire on 23rd Street near Broadway. On that night in 1966, 12 firefighters were killed, the city’s largest one-day total of firefighters’ lives lost prior to 9/11. Manuel Fernandez, a veteran of Engine 18 on West 10th Street near Greenwich Avenue, left, was the engine truck’s driver that night. “We got a call from a box around the corner,” he recounted. “We got here, it looked like a pool hall, kind of misty.” Fernandez holds a medal of valor commemorating his 12 fallen brothers.

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