Remembering 9/11: Retired FDNY firefighter shares story

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Saturday will mark 20 years since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

This week, the I-Team is bringing stories as Southern Nevada remembers that fateful day.

Frank Pizarro, a retired New York City Firefighter, dealt with the grief of losing fellow crew members on Sept. 11, 2001.

He also was part of the recovery effort to find their bodies.

The pain and trauma is something he lives with every day.

“I remember myself telling the chief, you know, a lot of guys are gonna die today,” says Pizarro.

He remembers the ride from his New York City firehouse to the World Trade Center on that tragic day, where destruction continued.

“There was a Verizon building that was a block over and we had gone in there to search after the first two towers had come down and five minutes after we got out of that, that thing came down,” recalls Pizarro.

In the days and months that followed, he describes the details to 8 News Now vividly:

“We went digging through the pile, ya know hoping to find anything or anybody,” he adds.

Pizarro was part of search efforts.

“It was powerful cause we would find say a fireman from a specific house and all work would stop and we would call that firehouse so they could come and bring him out of the hole so it was a sight to be seen. All work would stop. The aisle would line up and everybody would stand at attention and salute as he would be carried out and this happened over and over and over again,” he recalls.

20 years later, Pizarro remains proud to wear the uniform.

“I would do it all over again. It’s probably the best job in the world and I lost a lot of friends, brothers and that I’ll never forget,” he says.

Pizarro retired in 2017 and then moved to Las Vegas.

Like many first responders at ground zero, he says he has health issues including lung disease but says that doesn’t keep him from his passion.

“I decided that I’m gonna sing until I can’t sing anymore. It’s not as easy as it used to be but I give everything I got and I’m gonna sing until the last note comes out,” he adds.

From special Sept. 11 tributes in Southern Nevada to the World Series in New York, Pizarro continues to share his voice.

He tells 8 News Now he is going to sing at a fundraiser on Sept. 11 here in Las Vegas.

Pizarro started a charity to help remember fallen firefighters.

For more information on his fundraiser click HERE.

For more information on Pizarro’s charity for the fallen firefighters click HERE.

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