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Robert T. Lane
Age: 28
Occupation: Firefighter
Worked for: NY Fire Dept
Originally from:
Resided in: New York, N.Y
School: Susan Wagner High School

I didn't know Robert, but I thought he should be on this list.
Submitted by: Jay Dooling ()

Other links: A Son's Cake and Candles: NY Times
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From NY Daily News Dec 12, 2001

'He Finally Landed Dream Job'

Over the years, Robert Todd Lane held almost every job imaginable, from chef to school bus driver to garden store worker. But he never stopped dreaming of the one position he wanted more than any other B New York City firefighter.

Three years ago, Lane's dream came true, and from then until Sept. 11, he loved the job and his life, grieving friends and family recalled yesterday.

"You were gone in a flash, but our lives are richer for having you with us," his mother, Janet Lane, said during a memorial service at New Dorp Moravian Church on Staten Island.

Lane's father, Richard, hugged his wife as she burst into tears.

More than 500 mourners packed the 156-year-old church to mourn Lane, a sports nut, mechanic and best friend to dozens who died in the terror attacks on the World Trade Center.

Lane, 28, was working a double shift at Engine Co. 55 in Little Italy when a call went out for a gas leak about 8 a.m. on Sept. 11.

Firefighter Pete Metzger recalled telling Lane that he would take his place on the run. But even after hours of work, Lane shrugged him off B and minutes later found himself one of the first rescuers at the towers.

"He said, 'Shut up,' and jumped on the rig," Metzger said. "That day, Bobby gave me my life."

Lane also was a self-taught auto mechanic who loved breathing new life into rusting old cars. On the night before the attacks, he drove a sputtering 1983 Pontiac Grand Prix to his firehouse and parked it.

Hoping for a Miracle

For weeks afterward, firefighters refused to let anyone move the clunker, hoping against hope that a miracle would allow Lane to drive it away himself.

Eventually, they relented and told relatives to pick up the car.

Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari lauded Lane as a courageous member of "one of the most successful rescue efforts ever in the history of the Fire Department."

"He was a true New York City hero," Molinari said.

Fire helmets sat on the altar alongside an empty coffin draped with a flag yesterday. Like those of thousands of other Trade Center victims, Lane's body has not been recovered.

Friends recalled Lane as a born athlete who played on two city championship football teams at Susan Wagner High School.

He loved hockey, golf, pool and darts, too. Friends said he was never far from his buddies, either on the field, at the firehouse or in a bar.

Most of all, Lane was remembered as a selfless person, who lived to help others and work in a team with the fellow firefighters he loved.

"I think his first-grade teacher never taught him the meaning of the word 'No,'" said Firefighter Mark Bruni. "He was always there to help others."
-- Anon (Friend { })
12 Dec 2001

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