The Miracle of Ladder Co. 6: Veteran Bronx Deputy Fire Chief shares heroic story of 9/11

Veteran Bronx Deputy Fire Chief John Jonas is sharing his harrowing and heroic story---how he and his unit ran into the north tower on Sept. 11, 2001, to save lives.

News 12 Staff

Sep 10, 2021, 9:33 PM

Updated 1,046 days ago

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Veteran Bronx Deputy Fire Chief John Jonas shared his harrowing and heroic story of how he and his unit ran into the north tower on Sept. 11, 2001 to save lives, and ended up trapped for hours after it collapsed on them.
It has been 20 years, and the memory of Sept. 11, 2001 is still painfully fresh for Deputy Chief John Jonas, who was captain of Ladder Company 6 in Chinatown, Manhattan at the time.
He and his team had one mission when the planes rocked not just the foundation of the twin towers but the nation. It was simply search and rescue.
To this day, Jonas remembers the friends he's lost, the firefighters that never made it home.
"One of the firemen I was surrounded by was a fireman from Rescue 1. He looked up and said we might not live through today," Jonas recalls. "Out of all those guys I was surrounded by, I was the only one to survive…  they were all killed."
For him and his team, it was a close call. When they ran into the north tower, they made it to the 27th floor, where they famously rescued Brooklyn resident Josephine Harris, but before Jonas and his unit could get out, the north tower collapsed on them.
Chief Jonas and his team were stuck in stairwell B for five hours.
Two decades have passed and the nation has not forgotten every name lost on that day.
Chief Jonas says the new wave of New York's bravest have big shoes to fill.  


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