Louis Arena, Lad.5 (D) SCENT OF A FIREFIGHTER Louis Arena loved being a firefighter, and one of the ways he showed it was this: He would return to his Staten Island home from Ladder Company 5 and tell his wife, Wanda, “Smell my head.” Mrs. Arena, 31, was crazy about the way her husband smelled, especially after a fire. She would rub his hair and breathe the smell of smoke and sweat from his pores. The two had been friends since grade school, and married for the last six years, yet this was one of the rare times she had her husband to herself. “I used to be so jealous” of the other firefighters, she said. “I’d tease him, ‘You love them more than me.’” The couple had two children, Nina, 4, and Joseph, 3. They dreamed of retiring to Key West, sleeping on the beach and listening to Jimmy Buffett. Over the summer, she bought him tickets to a Jimmy Buffett concert in November. Now Mrs. Arena is left with the unused tickets, and with the shirt he wore their last day together, on a trip to a Long Island beach. She has not washed the shirt, she said. She lost her husband, who was 32, but she cannot part with the last traces of his scent. LOUIS ARENA, 32, of New York, a firefighter with the New York fire department, died trying to help others. “It’s so typical of him. He was always helping people,” said his wife, Wanda. “He was not concerned about himself.” It was a trait he developed early. His sister, JoAnn Arena-Eisinger, recalled telling her then-3-year-old brother that she was hungry one day. “He walked down to the (store), got a loaf of bread and walked out with it,” she said. He brought it home to her. “You said you needed something, you got it,” Arena-Eisinger said. Arena is one of several firefighters from Ladder 5, Manhattan, who disappeared into the rubble Tuesday while working to save countless others. His death, which was confirmed yesterday, occurred as he climbed the stairs in the North Tower of the World Trade Center looking for anyone who needed help. “He was running up the stairs when other people were running down,” said his wife of six years, Wanda (Reynolds) Arena. “It’s so typical of him. He was always helping people. He was not concerned about himself.” Arena was born in Besonhurst, Brooklyn, and his family moved to the Heartland Village section of New Springville when he was four. He was a graduate of St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School, Huguenot, and was a parishioner of St. Patrick’s R.C. Church, Richmond. A firefighter for six years, Arena first served at Ladder 5 before working out of Ladder 225 in East New York and Engine Company 309 in Brooklyn. He returned to Ladder 5 about two years ago. “He was very dedicated to his (fire) house and loved everybody there,” said Ms. Arena. “It was his second home.” An Emergency Medical Service technician, Ms. Arena worked a full shift Tuesday in Manhattan after the disaster, keeping a watchful eye out for her husband. “I knew he was with such a wonderful team,” she said. “They were smart and they were strong and I really thought they were going to make it.” Ms. Arena said her husband was a gourmet cook who also could build or repair anything. He did countless favors for family and friends, even scheduling his days off so that he could help others. He also loved spending time with his children, Nina, 4, and Joseph, 3. “He was very protective of everyone,” said Ms. Arena-Eisinger, “especially his kids.” He and his wife regularly ran in various memorial races for fallen firefighters and police. In addition to his wife, his sister and his children, surviving are his parents, Joseph and Jenny Arena; and three brothers, Frank, Salvatore and Anthony.