New York lost a friend
James J. Savastano died suddenly of a heart attack on October 9, 2007. I remember him, on a day I covered a small fire on Grand Street a few months ago. On the way home I thought, what a real gentleman that chief was... Having a press photographer hovering about, gathering the images which tell the story is not a big priority for those who must protect the community by stopping fire from growing from a small incident into a major disaster. He tolerated my being where I had to be -- albeit I am always careful to stay out of the way of the work ... he answered those questions he could and in short, was a gentleman.
His distinguished career with the Fire Department of the City of New York spanned 29 years. At the time of his death, he was a Battalion Chief / 4th Battalion Commander. He leaves behind a wife Lorraine and children Janine, Karen, James & Laura, and sisters Regina Keenan, Patricia Tschacher, Kathleen Woodworth, and brothers Edward, Roy and Richard. He will be missed by many colleagues, friends and the people of Downtown New York, who he protected until his unexpected loss.
Most of all, we will all be thankful that this gentleman risked everything for us, every day of his working life.