Sean Hanley, Lad.20 (D) STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Sean S. Hanley heard stories about his grandfather’s untimely death battling a blaze, but became a firefighter anyway. He contemplated a second career a few years ago when his three firehouse buddies died in line of duty, but decided being a firefighter was in his blood — no matter what the risk. On Tuesday, that call to service brought the 35-year-old Bulls Head resident to Lower Manhattan minutes after he signed off for the day. The lifelong Staten Islander finished his night shift as a firefighter with Ladder Co. 20 in the SoHo section of Manhattan and planned to stop by his friend’s midtown office. As he drove away in his black truck at around 8:45 a.m., Mr. Hanley flipped on the radio and heard that the Twin Towers were on fire; he rushed directly to the World Trade Center. Family had heard little about his whereabouts or condition until fire officials confirmed Mr. Hanley’s death on Saturday. “He was a soft-hearted guy who would cry at the drop of a hat, yet he would go and fight for whoever needed it,” said his father, Gerald, a retired firefighter from Engine 151 in Tottenville. “He was All-American, just like all the boys who went down.” Mr. Hanley comes from a long line of firefighters. His paternal grandfather, Gerald, died on Dec. 13, 1939, after fighting a fire with Engine Co. 282 in Brooklyn. He wore the shield number of his late maternal grandfather, Sanford Degon, who was also a firefighter with Ladder 20. His brother, Bryan Thomas Hanley, is a retired firefighter from Ladder Co. 101 in Brooklyn. In addition to his brother and his father, Gerald, surviving are his mother, the former Patricia Degon; two more brothers, Gerald Jr. and Kevin; his maternal grandmother, Ann Degon, and his paternal grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Hanley. Mr. Hanley was set to be an usher in Gerald Jr.’s wedding this weekend, which was postponed. “We were all suppose to be together this weekend. We were suppose to be having a good time,” said Gerald Jr. Only days before the tragedy, Allan Middleton hosted a party for Mr. Hanley because the FX cable station was airing “Tough Man,” a boxing match between the Police and Fire departments in which the six-foot-four-inch Mr. Hanley fought. “He was the funny commentator, giving us a scene by scene of what we didn’t see,” said Middleton. The two met while students at New York University, where Mr. Hanley took a few classes. Mr. Hanley was a graduate of Tottenville High School and a native of Annadale. He was a prankster who walked into the firehouse with a set of “Austin Powers” teeth and glasses his first day of appointment and often put shaving cream on the phone receiver before colleagues picked it up. Mr. Hanley was with the Fire Department for five years, spending some time at Engine Co. 257 in Brooklyn, where three firefighters were killed in December 1998 while battling a high-rise inferno in Brooklyn. Mr. Hanley had switched shifts with one of the firefighters killed, according to his family, and debated leaving the department. “He decided to stay with it because he really wanted to help people,” said his father. “That is our family tradition.” Mr. Hanley enjoyed boxing and playing basketball at local courts. According to his family, he loved talking on the phone. “He was a fighter and a lover,” said his aunt, Marie Degon. The funeral will be tomorrow from the Harmon Home for Funerals, with a mass at 10 a.m. in Blessed Sacrament R.C. Church, both West Brighton. Private cremation will follow, and burial of ashes will be in Moravian Cemetery, New Dorp.