Raymond York, a 20-year veteran of the New York Fire Department, had every reason not to be in harm's way Tuesday.
The 45-year-old husband and father of four had been placed on light duty with a shoulder injury and was giving a TV interview at Rockefeller Center when he saw the first airliner strike the World Trade Center on the camera crew's television. York headed for the scene, hopping on an ambulance.
He had just reached the fire command post when Tower Two collapsed. York is presumed dead.
"He saw that this had happened and he couldn't sit still," said York's mother-in-law, Rosemary Abruzzino.Abruzzino said her son-in-law had a passion for life, his family and his job.
"I know people say only good things about people after they die, but in his case, we don't have to embellish anything," she said. "He was a great man and a tremendous father to his children."
Among York's interests was kayaking, and he had planned a trip Wednesday. He had started a kayaking club for firefighters and dubbed it "Blazing Paddles."