2 bros rise to chal­lenge

Pro­moted by FDNY same day

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY THOMAS TRACY

They’re go­ing up the FDNY lad­der to­gether.

Two bravest broth­ers from the Rock­aways will be pro­moted on Fri­day, less than a week af­ter they marked the pass­ing of a third sib­ling — a twin to one of them — who died on 9/11.

FDNY Lt. Sean Heeran will be bumped up to cap­tain and younger brother Fire­fighter Wil­liam (Billy) Heeran will be pro­moted to lieu­tenant dur­ing a spe­cial cer­e­mony at the Chris­tian Cul­tural Cen­ter in East New York, Brook­lyn, on Fri­day.

“We took the test six months apart,” Billy Heeran, 40, said Thurs­day. “We never thought we would get pro­moted to­gether. Not in a mil­lion years.”

In at­ten­dance will be their wives, chil­dren and proud pop Bernie Heeran, a re­tired FDNY fire­fighter.

Also on their minds will be the mem­ory of their brother Charlie Heeran — Billy’s twin brother — who died in the twin tow­ers while work­ing for Can­tor Fitzger­ald on 9/11. He was 23 years old.

Charlie, Billy and Sean were all work­ing in the Fi­nan­cial District that fate­ful day, pre­par­ing to be­come the next wolves of Wall Street, when ter­ror­ists slammed two jets into the World Trade Cen­ter.

Billy was work­ing for a small firm in Bat­tery Park when his Bloomberg ter­mi­nal flashed a news brief that a Cessna had struck the World Trade Cen­ter.

“I knew my brother was there, but he wasn’t pick­ing up his di­rect line,” Billy re­mem­bered. “I called an­other guy there and he didn’t pick up ei­ther. I ran over and got a block away be­fore cops stopped me.

“You could see a huge hole in the build­ing,” he said. “You can tell it wasn’t a Cessna.”

Both Billy and Sean said watch­ing the FDNY race to the tow­ers and tire­lessly sift through the rub­ble search­ing for sur­vivors in­spired them to be­come fire­fight­ers.

“That was def­i­nitely the de­cid­ing fac­tor...los­ing my brother and see­ing first­hand the com­pa­nies re­spond­ing to the Trade Cen­ter,” said Billy, who had al­ready taken the writ­ten exam and had de­ferred two calls to be put into a Fire academy class. “If 9/11 didn’t hap­pen I wouldn’t have taken the job.”

Sean, 43, said that af­ter 9/ 11 the Wall Street lifestyle wasn’t as ap­peal­ing.


Wil­liam Heeran (top l.) and brother Sean (top r.) joined FDNY in wake of 9/11, which took the life of their brother Charlie (left). Their dad, Bernie (above) is a re­tired fire­fighter.

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