‘We found no survivors there’ — Leland man recalls first-hand account as NYC firefighter on 9/11

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — “It almost feels like it was just a few days ago. And sometimes it feels like it never happened,” former NYC firefighter Richard Hogan said.

Two decades ago, Hogan was a captain with the FDNY.

Despite the passage of time, Hogan says he remembers the events of September 11th very clearly, and his departments actions following the attacks.

“After the towers got hit, there was a total recall,” Hogan said. “We all responded in there.”

Hogan says his department didn’t make it to the site until after the towers had collapsed.

With so many people working in the buildings, Hogan says he was optimistic they were going to be able to save a lot of people.

But, unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

“Really thought we were gonna find a lot of the victims, the firemen and all,” Hogan added. “It was devastating to get there and just see the rubble. We really just found no real survivors there.”

Hogan spent several months working at the site of the towers, rotating in shifts to make sure the cleanup effort was continuous.

He says it was exhausting work. But the hardest part was thinking about the loved ones of the victims and how the events of 9/11 would change their lives forever.

“It was pretty devastating, knowing these guys all left their families and were never gonna return,” Hogan said. “They all had young children. It affected us greatly.”

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