United in Courage
September 12, 2001
New York City
Louie Cacchioli, 51, is a firefighter assigned to Engine 47 in Harlem.
We were the first ones in the second tower after the plane struck. I was taking firefighters up in the elevator to the 24th floor to get in position to evacuate workers. On the last trip up a bomb went off. We think there was bombs set in the building. I had just asked another firefighter to stay with me, which was a good thing because we were trapped inside the elevator and he had the tools to get out.
There were probably 500 people trapped in the stairwell. It was mass chaos. The power went out. It was dark. Everybody was screaming. We had oxygen masks and we were giving people oxygen. Some of us made it out and some of us didn't. I know of at least 30 firefighters who are still missing. This is my 20th year. I am seriously considering retiring. This might have done it.
- WhatReallyHappened.com's archive of this People Magazine article