2011-01-21 / Top Stories

Rockaway Firefighter Dies Of 9/11 Illness

By Howard Schwach

Retired firefighter William Quick served the Far Rockaway community. Retired firefighter William Quick served the Far Rockaway community. A retired, much-decorated firefighter who risked his life for the Far Rockaway community, died on Tuesday of lung disease triggered by his grueling two months working at Ground Zero, his widow said.

William Quick, 55, a 23-year FDNY veteran, died at his East Atlantic Beach home, where he was on oxygen 24-7, said widow Lisa Quick.

Quick was assigned to Ladder 134 in Far Rockaway, and was a first responder on 9/11.

At the time, he spent 60 days on the “pile,’’ first searching for survivors, then victims, and always “hoping to give comfort to people who had lost loved ones there,” she told New York Post reporter Rita Delfiner. “He was down there from the time the towers fell, from the beginning.”

The firefighter stopped working on the pile only when his knee gave out and he was ordered off the site.

Quick, whose childhood dream was to join the FDNY, got a cough that worsened until he was diagnosed with lung disease in 2002 and was forced to retire in 2003.

He is survived by the couple’s 17- year-old twins, Ryan Mary and William Henry.

Quick is the second stricken firefighter to die since President Obama signed the Zadroga bill to give health care and compensation to 9/11 responders and their families.

“I am glad President Obama pushed [the Zadroga Bill] through,” she told Daily News reporter John Lauinger. “There are going to be more people who need the help and that is the only place they are going to get it. I hope that maybe it will help my children, because I don’t know what happens now.”

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