While fighting a four-alarm fire at a Brooklyn row-house, Timothy Stackpole learned that a woman was trapped inside. Without hesitation, he and two firemen ran into the flames… and the floor collapsed.
“Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.” —Romans 12:11
“My whole body was trapped up to my neck,” Timothy said. “The fire was still roaring all around us. And I remember praying to God: just let me die bravely.” Timothy and his colleagues were trapped for almost a half-hour.
Firefighter Michael Brady rode in the ambulance with Timothy, recalling his words, “He was comforting the EMTs and cheering them on: ‘Thank you, brother. Thank you for helping me.’ His zeal could never be squashed.”
With burns over 38 percent of his body, Timothy was near death, but after 66 days, he limped out of the hospital to a hero’s welcome, returning to work soon afterward. Though he could have retired from the department, Timothy chose not to. “It was his life, his calling,” said his wife. “He couldn’t not do it. This is what he felt he was supposed to do in his life.”
Firefighter Stackpole, then promoted to captain, was one of the hundreds of firemen who answered the call to the World Trade Center, after it was struck, and he was one of the 343 firefighters killed when the twin towers collapsed.
“The greatest high you can get in life is by helping somebody,” he said in a public service announcement that was taped before his death. Ten thousand people attended Timothy Stackpole’s funeral, including Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who called him “one of the most exceptional human beings I’ve ever met.”
Allow Timothy’s story to inspire you to press on and never quit.
ALMIGHTY HEALER, suffering—especially when it happens to amazing people—is very hard to understand. Yet out of great tragedy, so often comes incredible triumph. Out of pain comes a renewed passion. Today, may I serve with zeal and enthusiasm.
Now – let’s talk about his son, Brendon.