Trending Topics

FDNY legend, author Dennis Smith dies; fire service leaders share tributes

Smith wrote the renowned “Report from Engine Co. 82” and later founded Firehouse Magazine


By FireRescue1 staff

NEW YORK — Fire service legend Dennis Smith has died, reported on Saturday.

Smith is best known for authoring “Report from Engine Co. 82,” a memoir that chronicled his career as a firefighter with the FDNY in a South Bronx firehouse in the 1960s and 1970s, dubbed the “War Years” in New York City. Years later, after retiring from FDNY, Smith responded to the 9/11 attacks and later chronicled his time at Ground Zero in the book “Report from Ground Zero.”

In 1976, Smith founded Firehouse Magazine. In 2016, to mark the 40-year anniversary of the founding of Firehouse Magazine, then-Editor-in-Chief Tim Sendelbach wrote: “With Report from Engine Co. 82, Dennis demonstrated the remarkable power of a story and its unique ability to captivate and influence an audience. His goal with Firehouse was simply to create a magazine for firefighters, a medium in which they too could tell their story and share in their own words what it was like to be a firefighter.”

Smith was also known for his fire service advocacy, and was recognized over the years through numerous awards from groups like the Congressional Fire Services Institute, the National Fire Academy, the International Association of Fire Chiefs and FDNY.

The New York Times published an obituary for Smith here. And CBS News published a video about his life.

Firefighters and fire service leaders are sharing their tributes and memories on social media: