Five Floors Up

The Heroic Family Story of Four Generations in the FDNY

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Pub Date 06 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 06 Oct 2022


Rescue Me meets Blue Bloods in this riveting social history of the New York City Fire Department told from the perspective of the Feehan family, who served in the FDNY for four generations and counting.

Seen through the eyes of four generations of a firefighter family, Five Floors Up the story of the modern New York City Fire Department. From the days just after the horse-drawn firetruck, to the devastation of the 1970s when the Bronx was Burning, to the unspeakable tragedy of 9/11, to the culture-busting department of today, a Feehan has worn the shoulder patch of the FDNY. The tale shines the spotlight on the career of William M. Feehan. “Chief” Feehan is the only person to have held every rank in the FDNY including New York City’s 28th Fire Commissioner. He died in the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. But Five Floors Up is at root an intimate look at a firefighter clan, the selflessness and bravery of not only those who face the flames, but the family members who stand by their sides. Alternately humorous and harrowing, rich with anecdotes and meticulously researched and reported, Five Floors Up takes us inside a world few truly understand, documenting an era that is quickly passing us by. 
Rescue Me meets Blue Bloods in this riveting social history of the New York City Fire Department told from the perspective of the Feehan family, who served in the FDNY for four generations and...

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ISBN 9781538753200
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Average rating from 6 members

Featured Reviews

How do I put this into words? It’s a read that is heartbreaking, funny, informative, emotional, touching and so much more. Brian McDonald wrote a beautiful story about the Feehan family - who had 4 generations of firefighters in FDNY. The eldest Feehan had been a firefighter in NYC dating back to 19th century.

While I was reading this, it was like the firefighter version of my favorite NYC police drama TV show, ‘Blue Bloods’. The Feehan were an Irish Catholic family. Many Feehan men grew up watching their elder fighting fires then going on to join the FDNY. We learn about the stories of each men, I felt admiration and respect for each of them. We also learn about their wives and children - they stories made me care for them. This was particularly tough when I read the last two chapters. It covered the events of Sept 11th, I felt like I was re-living the experiences of the first responders on that day. Despite the last two chapters being raw and emotional, it was also heartwarming and funny. This was a book where I laughed and cried!

The author did a nice job of including some historical information about New York City and FDNY. I learned a lot that I hadn’t learned before. It was intriguing to read about how some things changed over the years within FDNY/firefighting. Some facts were surprising!

I highly recommend this read - it was one of the best biography books I’ve read. The Feehan family pulled me in from page one, so they will stay with me! I could relate to many aspects as I grew up in an Irish Catholic family and have a brother who is a firefighter. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC for a honest feedback.

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A raw intimate heart wrenching look at this family of firefighters.Iwas drawn in from opening pages September 11 and the father of this family a retired firefighter loses his own life as he heroically rushed to the sight and tried to save victims a truly emotional opening.#netgalley #grandcentralpublishing.,

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