Tonight at 5 & 11: 9/11 Ten Years Later

NEW YORK (WTOC) - The Rescue 5 Fire Station was crowded early on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

The crew getting off the overnight had not yet left as the crew coming in for the day shift had started to arrive. When the report of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center went out, every one of those firefighters with one of New York City's elite units hopped on the truck and raced from the Staten Island firehouse to lower Manhattan.

None of them returned - all 11 men killed when the Twin Towers collapsed that morning.

"It was change of tours. You had double the manpower,'' said firefighter Don Dillon, one of the few remaining members of Rescue 5 who was with the company on September 11th. "You had guys coming off work and coming into work. So, usually we have six guys on that rig, that day we had 11. So 11 guys went and died.

"I actually left early that day. Someone came in and relieved me early and he died.''

A decade later, neither the loss or the memory of those 11 men has subsided. They are memorialized individually, but also as a group at the Rescue 5 station in a street corner named in their honor, a mural commissioned by one of the widows on the front door of the firehouse and a memorial along one of its interior walls.

"Nobody's forgetting,'' said Dillon. "They will never, ever be forgotten.''

Watch Tim Guidera's special report on THE News at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Copyright 2011 WTOC. All rights reserved.