January 23, 2005 was “Black Sunday” in New York when FDNY Lt. Curtis W. Meyran (covering Ladder 27 that day) and FF John G. Bellew (Ladder 27) died in the Line of Duty at an apartment fire in the Bronx. Four other FF’s were injured: Jeffrey Cool (Rescue 3) the late Lt. Joseph
DiBernardo**-Rescue 3 (whose later death is Line of Duty-see below) Brendan Cawley (Ladder 27) and Eugene Stolowski (Ladder 27).
All 6 FF’s were forced to jump from the 4th floor of the apartment building as they were trapped by the fire.
Additionally, at a separate fire in Brooklyn that same day, just 3 hours after the Bronx fire, Brooklyn FF Richard T. Sclafani (Ladder 103) was killed in the Line of Duty after getting trapped in the basement while operating at a residential fire.
HERE are links to the reports, videos and articles as we remember those who were injured and killed in the Line of Duty that day:
=NIOSH Report-BRONX FIRE:
=NIOSH Report-BROOKLYN FIRE:
=BLACK SUNDAY-A Unique Short Film:
=BLACK SUNDAY BRONX RADIO TRAFFIC:
=BLACK SUNDAY-15 YEARS LATER (Thoughts from Chief DiBernardo)
=IAFF Presentation-FDNY FF Jeff Cool:
=FDNY FF Jeff Cool:
=NY Magazine Article Bronx Fire “No Way Out”
NOTE: On November 22, 2011, Joey DiBernardo passed away in the Line of Duty as a result of those injuries suffered on Black Sunday. He was awarded the IAFF Medal of Honor, the New York City Medal of Supreme Sacrifice, and the FDNY Medal of Valor.
Following the loss of these brave men, the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation was founded by his Dad, Deputy Chief Joseph DiBernardo Sr, (Retired) Commander-FDNY 6th Division-Bronx/Harlem, FDNY along with numerous family and friends.
The Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation believes that firefighters can’t save lives if they can’t save themselves. Too often firefighters become trapped unexpectedly due to collapse, flashover, backdraft or more and need to get out FAST. Sometimes the only way out is a window. Our organization knows this all too well – founded by people directly impacted by the FDNY “Black Sunday” where 3 firefighters lost their lives and 3 suffered life-changing injuries in The Bronx – all because they had no way out but a 5th story window.
Please check out their mission and their outstanding annual Firefighter training seminar: