CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Interview With Firefighter Who Lost Two Brothers 9/11
Aired September 11, 2002 - 14:14 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: I think when you put together programs like this, or days like this, there are a number of goals, the services, the memorials, for one. Certainly, the reporting that my colleagues have done, some have just been extraordinary about what really happened. There's another not to be lost in this is an effort to give life, to give meaning, give life to the people who died that day, to give them more than a number, 2,800 or 3,000 or whatever.
And Kenny Haskell can help us do that. Mr. Haskell is a firefighter, so are his two brothers who did not make it out that day. And he joins us now.
Can I call you Kenny?
KENNY HASKELL, LOST TWO BROTHERS SEPTEMBER 11: Sure.
BROWN: Thanks for coming in.
Timmy and Tommy, tell me, who were they?
HASKELL: Well, Tommy was my oldest brother. He was the captain of 132.
BROWN: And where is 132?
HASKELL: In (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Brooklyn. And Timmy was a firefighter in Squad 18 right here in lower Manhattan. And they were both working the morning of September 11.
BROWN: And do you know much about what happened to them?
HASKELL: Well, I know Tommy was in the South Tower, and Timmy was in the north. Timmy had made it quite high, I've heard up to as high as the 60th floor, and he was actually recovered. We were able to find him, I believe, because he was so high. Tommy, we have never found. I know he was on his way out of the building.
You know, both were evacuating people. I know Timmy, for a fact, saved some gentlemen who survived. He helped escort a man out. And rather than continue to take the man out and go with the gentleman, he went back up when he heard other people calling for help, and he was found with those men four days later.
BROWN: What is it -- is today just another day -- does today feel somehow special? Is today important to you, or is it just another day of dealing with your loss and your grief? HASKELL: Obviously, it's a very emotional day, but I'm grateful that the world is having the opportunity to see what type of people my brothers were, and what type of people the police and firemen were that went to save those people that day. I think some people want to see the day just be over with, because the emotion is too much for them. But I am, in fact, grateful to having the opportunity to be exposed as heroes like they were.
BROWN: One of the things that has happened around -- I don't know -- I guess hundreds of firehouses around the city in all of the boroughs is that people, in a kind of steady stream, have come by over the course of the year to bring flowers, to bring soup. Is it enough already?
HASKELL: No. I think as nice as the gestures are that people would come by and be part of the firehouse, I think it was also for them, as much as it was for us. I think in this society now, where we see corporate greed and greed in athletics, and people who are looking for heroes, people to look up to, and they found it in men that make $40,000 a year. And I think...
BROWN: And work pretty hard for it, too.
HASKELL: Yes. And I think in a way that people really respected it. And it wasn't just so much for our loss, but they finally came to appreciate what type of people firemen are.
BROWN: Is there -- was it hard to go back to work?
HASKELL: I spent after the 11th, you know, most of my time being down at ground zero, and so, it was actually a relief to get back to the firehouse, to get kind of back to a normal routine. I don't know if it will ever be the same again, obviously, but it felt good to go back to work, to go back to help people again.
BROWN: I know the answer to this, but our viewers may not. When you talk about -- excuse me, I have something in my eye. When you talk about going down to ground zero to do the work, what were you doing?
HASKELL: Basically, it was just -- I mean, initially, there was hopes of rescuing the first week or so. And then, basically, it became a recovery operation. We spent hours and hours digging, searching voids, removing bodies, body parts, and basically just trying -- hoping to find my brothers, obviously, while I was there.
HASKELL: You know, and I was grateful we found Timmy. Tommy, like I said, was never found.
BROWN: New Yorkers, I think, have always looked fondly upon their firemen and women no more so than now. Our condolences, and thank you for coming in.
HASKELL: Thank you for having me. BROWN: Thank you, Kenny Haskell, who lost two brothers that day.
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