June 1, 2022

Never Forget: Lessons Learned at the NY Telephone Fire | S2 E22

Our guests are retired FDNY firefighter Dan Noonan, (first due Irons Man on 3 Truck), and
Deputy Assistant Chief of the FDNY Fire Academy Frank Leeb, talking about the historic 1975 New York Telephone company fire, reducing occupational exposure, and the dedication ceremony to honor the sacrifices made by the firefighters at this fire.


In 1975, a fire erupted at a telephone relay company in lower Manhattan. Many of the 699 firefighters developed cancer and other illnesses from exposure to carcinogens at that fire. Our guests are retired FDNY firefighter Dan Noonan, (first due Irons Man on 3 Truck), and 

Deputy Assistant Chief of the FDNY Fire Academy Frank Leeb, talking about the historic 1975 New York Telephone company fire, reducing occupational exposure, and the dedication ceremony to honor the sacrifices made by the firefighters at this fire. Behind only 9/11, many consider the New York Telephone Company fire the second most deadly and costliest in the history of the New York City fire department.

At approximately 12:15 a.m on February 27, 1975, a fire broke out in the basement cable vault at the New York Telephone Company building on 13th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan.  The incident escalated to five alarms with 699 firefighters responding, as toxins from burning cables and other materials exposed them to polyvinyl chloride, hydrogen chloride, vinyl chloride monomer, and chlorinated dioxins.

Dan Noonan, who was first due on 3 Truck to this deadly fire, has, in the decades since, been a tireless advocate for awareness of occupational cancer and toxic exposure in the fire service, in particular the cancers and deaths sustained by many of the 699 FDNY members who fought this fire.

Dan is a featured Speaker at FDIC, Firehouse World and Firehouse Expo. Dan is an Awareness Ambassador for the New York Cancer Resource Alliance - First Responder, "Get Checked Now!" Program, and Campaigner for F.A.C.E. S (Firefighters Against Cancer and Exposures.)

To honor the sacrifices made by these firefighters, Chief Frank LEEB has overseen FDNY’s plan to host a special ceremony, courtesy of the Fire Bell Club, and to install commemorative plaques at the Telephone Company building and at the FDNY Fire Academy.

Frank Leeb is a Deputy Assistant Chief in the Fire Department of New York and is the Acting Chief of Training. Frank has been a member of the FDNY since 1992, and holds a bachelor's degree in Fire Service Administration and a Master’s in Security Studies.

Links to Videos mentioned in show:

Replay of Livestream FDNY Plaque dedication commemorating the New York Telephone Company FIre https://youtu.be/LdmXRrUJ7Es

FDNY Interview with Dan Noonan(TBA)

Dan Noonan (FDNY, Ret.) Profile Photo

Dan Noonan (FDNY, Ret.)

FDNY (Ret.) | Featured Speaker at FDIC | NYCRA and F.A.C.E.S. Ambassador

Dan Noonan, was one of 699 firefighters who responded to the monumental 1975 NY Telephone Fire. Dan was first due on 3 Truck to this deadly fire, and has, in the decades since, been a tireless advocate for awareness of occupational cancer and toxic exposure in the fire service, in particular the cancers and deaths sustained by many of the 699 FDNY members who fought this fire.

Dan is a featured Speaker at FDIC, Firehouse World and Firehouse Expo. Dan is an Awareness Ambassador for the New York Cancer Resource Alliance - First Responder, "Get Checked Now!" Program, and Campaigner for F.A.C.E. S (Firefighters Against Cancer and Exposures.)

Chief Frank Leeb Profile Photo

Chief Frank Leeb

Deputy Ass't. Chief, Fire Department of New York | FDNY Acting Chief of Training

Frank Leeb is a Deputy Assistant Chief in the Fire Department of New York and is the Acting Chief of Training. Frank has been a member of the FDNY since 1992, and holds a bachelor's degree in Fire Service Administration and a Master’s in Security Studies.