(Reuters) – Then a captain with Fire Ladder Company 6 in the Chinatown section of lower Manhattan, Jay Jonas tells a harrowing story of rescue and survival at the collapse of the World Trade Center after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.
“Some days it seems like it was yesterday. Some days it feels like it was 20 years ago,” said Jonas, who is still with the New York Fire Department and serves currently as a deputy chief.
“Staying on is my coping mechanism,” the 63-year-old told Reuters during a recent interview at a fire station in the Bronx ahead of the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
“There was tremendous trepidation and fear going into our operations that day, but we did it,” Jonas remembered.
In the North Tower lobby with colleagues shortly after it was hit, Jonas recalls the moment the plane hit the South Tower.
“Now, you had one of the firemen from Rescue One look up and say ‘we may not live through today.’ And we thought about it and we acknowledged his statement, and…