Day of Days

THE BOOK: Day of Days: September 11, 2001 – A Novel of the Fire Service

PUBLISHED: July 2021.

THE AUTHOR: Frank Napolitano

THE PUBLISHER: Toren James Publishing

SUMMARYAll proceeds from this publication will go to the 911 Tribute Museum and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation

September 11, 2001

For these men, the fire service is their heart, their blood, and their brotherhood. On the morning of September 11, 2001, bound by that brotherhood, they responded to the alarm at the World Trade Center. They fought that day to save civilians, each other, and themselves, against an adversary they thought they knew, and with every step they took, came to realize they might not see another sunrise.

Frank Napolitano

It’s the spring of 2001 in New York City. FDNY engineman and jazz musician Phil Coletti works his shifts on Engine 252 in Brooklyn. He never expected to fall in love with a woman he rescued from a suicide attempt on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, but he’s been on the job long enough to know he should expect the unexpected. Across the river in Manhattan, Captain Patrick Boyle, the most decorated officer in the history of the FDNY, lies in a hospital bed recovering from third-degree burns. He’s surprised to see his former lover at his bedside— especially since she ditched him to get engaged to a billionaire running for governor of NewYork—and he begins to wonder if the Job is truly for him. Over on Ladder 14, Bryan O’Rorke, a hard-charging truckie and son of a fireman killed in the line of duty, demands 110% from the guys on his crew. When a probationary firefighter from the Bronx, nineteen-year-old Harry Sturgis, arrives at the firehouse, it doesn’t take long before O’Rorke is putting the kid through the paces, and both men suffer the consequences of his unorthodox methods.

This visceral and unsettling novel tells the story of the firefighter’s life, culminating with the emergency response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on a spectacular September Tuesday in 2001. It portrays the courage, pain, and devotion of the men and women who respond when the alarm is sounded, who follow an unwritten code borne of necessity and preservation, and who sometimes pay the ultimate price so others may live.

THE BACK STORY: As fate would have it, I found myself in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, walking down Seventh Avenue at 8:45 in the morning when an airliner flew over my head heading south over Manhattan.  I witnessed the events of that day first-hand from about 30 blocks north of the World Trade Center.  

That night, I reported to my volunteer fire company in Greenwich, Connecticut (27 miles north of the World Trade Center) and was informed we had already deployed into a neighboring county north of New York City on a mutual aid assignment. Two weeks later members of my fire company and I deployed to the World Trade Center to assist in the recovery efforts there. 

Both at my firehouse and when we were aiding in the recovery efforts, I started to hear stories about incredible bravery and sacrifice of firefighters at the World Trade Center, people we knew or had known of.  I expected someone would write their stories.  I waited ten years and didn’t really see anybody convey the stories of what happened down there that day from a firefighting perspective so I decided I would try to do so because I believe their story needs to be told and remembered. 

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: What has emerged from the feedback I have received from those in the fire service and outside of it who have read the book is that the novel is really about the fire service itself. I was glad to hear this because that was my intent in writing this book. It tells a story about the fire service and then uses September 11 as a vehicle or filter to reveal aspects of the fire service not immediately noticed by the general population. Also, all proceeds from this publication will go to the 911 Tribute Museum and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.


“Evocative and compelling. This novel draws you into the lives of those unsung heroes all around us, everyday, who come to us in times of need and recede into the background when danger lifts. It gives you powerful and unforgettable insight into how so many of them did not turn and run on September 11th, 2001… but instead marched forward into destiny. The account of their achievements in the World Trade Center will leave you profoundly moved and forever grateful for their service and sacrifice.” – Rita Cosby, Emmy-Winning TV Host and Best Selling Author of Quiet Hero: Secrets From My Father’s Past

“Day of Days is a riveting and passionate look at those people who are first to respond to the calamities that befall unsuspecting civilians every day. Gritty and intense, it is destined to be to the fire service what From Here to Eternity was to the U.S. Army.” Kia Heavey, author of Domino and Underlake.


PRICE: $16.95 Paperback


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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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