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He was in New York City firefighter for 42 years retiring in 1998 as a Battalion Chief of Battalion 1 World Trade Center.
He was based out of Engine 7 Tower Ladder 1 on Duane Street in downtown Manhattan right around the corner from the World Trade Center complex.
Larry was instrumental in coordinating one WTC sector to get back on its feet over the next number of days. When a group of victims were discovered in a stairwell, the building blueprints did not match the stairwell identification number. Before GIS mapping was set up, a call was placed by FDNY Special Ops to the high-rise fire safety director’s association to reach out for the current blueprints showing the numerical stairs. A call was made to Chief Byrnes; this was Byrnes’s response district, and he knew the WTC like the back if his hand. He had a current set of plans and headed back into the city.
When asked a month or so later by a reporter why he responded after retiring, Larry simply replied: “Firefighters never retire, we just go away for a while.”
Chief Byrnes was a humble man, and always willing to share his knowledge with others.