Capt. Patrick Brown, Lad.3 THE BRAVEST AND GRUMPIEST Yes, Capt. Patrick J. Brown was a firefighting hero. But oh, there was so much more. “Everything he tackled, he gave 300 percent,” said Sharon Watts — onetime fiancée, ever a good friend — whether firefighting, music or yoga. He squeezed a baby grand into his apartment, and once puzzled a piano teacher who had arrived looking for “Little Patty Brown.” He loved Broadway shows, saying that in another life he might have been a choreographer. Ms. Watts recalled fondly that when she and Captain Brown, 48, a Vietnam veteran, started dating, he asked her to go with him to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Lower Manhattan. “We saw flowers that had been knocked over, and we set them up again.” When he worked in Harlem, he bicycled from his Stuyvesant Town apartment to 149th Street, but at Ladder Company 3 on 13th Street, she said, “he could run to his firehouse and take his yoga mat with him.” He was “a deeply spiritual man,” said a friend, James Remar, “but he was far too humble to advertise that.” It was hard to pull him out of the city, said his sister, Carolyn Negron, who lives on Long Island. “He had to be around that action. My father used to say, ‘If our house is on fire, he ain’t coming.’ ” Captain Brown sometimes called himself a “grumpy old man,” Ms. Watts said, so for his 47th birthday, she hand-painted a cereal bowl for him that said “To Pat: FDNY’s Bravest and Grumpiest.” He never married. “He had felt so much loss,” she said. “He didn’t want anyone close to him to feel the pain of losing someone.” Patrick J. Brown‚ 48‚ captain‚ FDNY‚ Ladder 3. Mayor Giuliani called the 23-year veteran a legend in the life of the Fire Department‚ during a mass honoring Brown at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He was one of the best-known members of the department and served as a role model for many young firefighters. Brown returned from two tours of duty in Vietnam as a decorated Marine sergeant. He ran in six marathons and was a second-degree black belt. Men wanted to work for him because he lived his life so well. The term “hero” is a term that is often thrown around for people who have passed. For Capt. Brown the term is aptly used, for even a quick search reveals that he is a true Hero. At age 17, Capt. Brown joined the U.S. Marines during the height of the Vietnam War and obtaining the rank of Sergeant. Following his tour in the Marines, Paddy followed his life-long passion and joined the fire patrol (as a kid, he used to listen to fire calls on a scanner in his bedroom and responded to fire calls on his bicycle.) In 1977 was appointed to the FDNY. While in the FDNY Paddy was assigned to Ladder 26, Rescue 1 and Rescue 2. He was promoted to a Lieutenant and was assigned to Ladder 28. Later, after promotion to Captain, he moved to Engine 69. His final assignment was at Ladder 3. During his career Capt. Brown obviously saved many lives in New York City. One such incident occurred in May 1991 while assigned to Rescue 1 in Manhattan. Then Lieutenant Brown responded to a fire call in a 12 story building. After running up 12 stories to the roof, Lt. Brown saw 2 victims trapped and ready to jump. Paddy organized a daring rope rescue, which is still known as one of the most daring rescue in the FDNY’s long storied history. The incident, was captured on film by a TV crew, and became featured on the TV Show Rescue 9-11. Footage of the incident can be found on the Captain Patrick J. Brown Memorial Foundation’s website. While building a most impressive career at the FDNY, Paddy was also a passionate runner (participating in six marathons.) He was also a golden gloves boxer, a 2nd degree black belt in Karate, and donated his time to teaching martial arts to the blind. He loved Broadway shows and although never married, was once voted New York City’s most eligible bachelors. Highlighting his generosity, whenever he was awarded a metal the monetary award was donated to the Burn Unit at Cornell University’s Burn Unit. Capt. Brown was among the first Firefighters to respond on 9/11. On September 11th, 2001 Pat and eleven men from Ladder 3 responded to the attacks at the World Trade Center. His firehouse, “3 Truck”, is located in very close proximity to the Twin Towers, so his company were one of the first responders on the scene. Along with so many other rescue workers, the men of Ladder 3 participated in perhaps one of the most successful rescue efforts in U.S. history. These brave men, at their own peril, managed to safely evacuate over 25,000 people from the World Trade Center on that most tragic day. It is believed that Paddy and his men were on the 40th floor of the North Tower when it fell. Patrick’s life, soul and spirit were remembered at a Memorial Mass on what would have been his 49th birthday, November 9th, 2001, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Thousands packed the enormous church to overflowing, while firefighters lined up three and four deep, as far as the eye could see on Fifth Avenue to honor and respect this legendary NYC Firefighter. Pat’s remains were recovered from the rubble of the North Tower on December 14th, 2001. On a cold clear night two weeks later, according to Paddy’s wishes, his ashes were spread by his family and friends in Central Park along a path where he loved to jog.