Firefighter who died of 9/11-related cancer awarded for heroics

An FDNY firefighter who died of 9/11-related cancer last year was honored Wednesday for his heroics during a Bronx blaze.

Firefighter Daniel Foley was posthumously awarded the Emerald Society Medal at the South Seaport for saving two young kids while responding to an early afternoon fire at the Butler Houses on Webster Avenue in Claremont on Feb. 20, 2019.

When Foley got on the scene, he spotted “several small hands waving frantically through the thick smoke billowing from the seventh-floor window,” according to fire officials.

The smoke eater rushed up the seven flights of stairs and slowed the spread of the blaze to buy some time for other firefighters to bring a hose-line. Foley then crawled on his hands and knees to reach the two kids in a back bedroom.

Daniel Foley (right) poses with his brother Tommy.
Daniel Foley (right) poses with his brother Thomas.

Foley died last February at 46 after losing a battle with pancreatic cancer, which the FDNY says was related to his rescue efforts at Ground Zero.


The firefighter lost his brother, Thomas, on Sept. 11, 2001, while responding to the terrorist attacks.

The award ceremony was originally scheduled for last April but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

His family accepted the award Wednesday on his behalf.