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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Thu May 23 - 02:00 PM | Tue May 28 - 11:55 AM

Andruzzi Press Conference

Joe Andruzzi speaks about how the tragedy in New York on September 11, 2001 touched the lives of his brothers who are NYC fire fighters.



            **Q:** Could you tell us what your day was like yesterday?  

JA: Very stressful. I was actually at the dentist yesterday in the morning and hearing over the radio and just not understanding it until I got home and turned the TV on and very stressful and trying to call my family--getting a busy signal. Getting a voice message saying that due to a tornado or something like that, just keep on getting busy signals. It took a couple of hours before I could reach my mom and dad. So it was pretty stressful.

Q: They live where exactly?
JA: I am in Staten Island, one of the Burroughs.

Q: Did you have family or friends that were in the building?
JA: I have three brothers that are fire fighters and that was probably the hardest part, just trying to find out where they were. One of my brothers was in the building. He got out just in time. He did.

Q: Have you spoken to him?
JA: This morning and last night when he got back, but he was pretty shook up. He was in the building. He was on the twentieth floor saving people. His whole house was in there. He was in that first building that got hit. He was one of the first houses to respond. Ended up turning around, heard the blast. The first building, actually the second building that got hit fell first. So he didn't know what that was, he just turned around and he was on the twentieth floor and one of his colleagues had chest pains, started stopping on the nineteenth or twentieth floor and told me if it wasn't for that he'd be dead right now. He was heading to the eightieth floor where the fire was. All of the sudden his Lt. got a call over the radio and yelled to everybody to get out. So as he was coming out the building was falling, he made it out in seconds. My two other brothers got called to the scene. One was there later on helping to rescue people. He was there with the guys last night, worked through the night. They're back there today. I have two older brothers, Billy and Jimmy was the one that was in the city, and my younger brother is Mark. Mark was called to the scene there, he was out there when Building 7 collapsed and rescuing people all night. My other brother was on call, he was there all night and he relieved people last night. It was pretty tough. My brother is shook up. A lot of people, his friends, were running around looking for people and just can't find them right now. Last time I heard two or three hundred firemen are still in there. It is just like the NFL, I play against Carolina and I know guys there. They know guys in other houses out there and he's worked in other housed so he knows guys out there.

Q: What is the number of his house?
JA: I am not even sure right now.

Q: Staten Island or Manhattan?
JA: He is in Manhattan and my other brother just got on so he doesn't have a house yet. And my other brother was just on-call in Brooklyn so he just … they closed everything down; they had to have badges to get through the bridges and the tunnels and stuff. They just had to get in there and just help any which way they could.

Q; So Jim was in Manhattan?
JA: Jim was there. Jim was coming…he actually got off at nine, but he stuck around and ended up being, he was one of those first 500 fire fighters that were in that first building. He was in there just trying to rescue people, get people down the stairs. I spoke to him and he was pretty shook up.

Q: When did you talk to him?
JA: A little last night, but he was really shook up last night. This morning, even worse, you know he is watching it and just not knowing where people are and him alone. Every time I talk to my mom there is just another name that she knows that they haven't heard from, family and friends. A lot of people work there that we probably don't even know anything about them right now. It's pretty hectic right now down there.

Q: How many hours was it that you didn't know that Jim was safe?
JA: Probably the first few hours because I know he was right next to the Trade Center down there and I would think he would be one of the first to show up there, his company. But I just couldn't get a hold of anybody, getting busy signals. I mean they were saying not to call, but how could you not. I mean you want to know if everybody is OK. When he finally got out of the building, after it collapsed, I think it must have been about a half hour and a couple guys where he was were passing around a cell phone to call family. He called my parents and talked to them for like two seconds. 'Yeah I am OK, I'll talk to you later,' just saying that.

Q: How old are your brothers?
JA: I got two that are older. One is 32, Billy. Jimmy is 30. I'm 26 and my little brother is 24, Mark.

Q: Where you are from, your neighborhood, are a lot of guys fire fighters?
JA: Everywhere. I mean I just, it is hard to say if I know anybody there. They just called everybody. I know a lot of friends I grew up with that are hurt or are just not being named for right now. I know a lot of friends that are policemen. A lot of guys that my brother's been working with I went to school with. So there's no telling…there's no names out or anything but I am sure when the list comes out I am going to know a hand full of them. It's going to be pretty hard.

Q: When did you actually find out that Jim was OK?
JA: About mid day. As soon as he called, my parents phone just never stopped ringing. Of course everybody was just wondering how my brothers were doing and I was just trying to get in there and then they finally got to me. My mom called me and she was just hysterical crying. I can't blame her, not knowing what's going on, my other brothers being called to the scene. Not knowing where one of here sons were and just listening to see if everything was OK and she was just going crazy. She's still crying even though he's all right, not knowing what's happening because we know a lot of other people around there too that are firemen and police officers.

Q: Do you feel a little helpless being over 200 miles away?
JA: Very hard, I think that is the hardest part. You know, not being there with my family. You know I was fortunate enough to have my brother back, but there's a lot of other people that aren't as fortunate. The hardest part is just not being there with my family and friends.

Q: How many brothers do you have?
JA: Three brothers.

Q: What do you think should be done about Sunday's games?
JA: It's not my decision. I'm not in charge of that. Whatever they do will be the right decision.

Q: How about you personally, will you find it hard to play?
JA: You know it is going to be a day-by-day thing I think. All of us, you and me, are going to get through this, of course, and it is going to take time. Little by little we will get going and it will get easier as the days go forth.

Q: Did he help people get out?
JA: I believe so. He was just heading up…I mean we didn't really get into detail, he couldn't really talk

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