FDNY hero pens ‘Finding John’ about the aftermath of 9/11

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, former Dongan Hills resident Andrew Serra, 45, wasn’t at work. He was on his way to class at the College of Staten Island.

But as soon as he heard about the tragic collapse of the World Trade Center, he headed to Ladder 131 in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn.

“When I heard what happened, I drove straight to my firehouse. A bunch of us borrowed a truck from a hardware store across the street,” said Serra.

“We got there sometime in the immediate aftermath,” he added.

For more than a year, Serra found himself digging through the rubble, looking for human remains.  In March of 2002, Serra and a team of rescue workers uncovered the body of a fallen firefighter.

“Myself and a couple of colleagues found the remains of a fireman who worked in Ladder 4,” he said, noting this discovery was the catalyst for his book.

A story about Ladder 4 firefighters looting a Gap store in the aftermath of 9/11 had a great impact on Serra.

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