PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a day Craig Murphy, and the entire country, will never forget. The First Deputy Commissioner for the Philadelphia Fire Department remembers September 11, 2001, vividly, arriving at Ground Zero with Pennsylvania Task Force One.
“You could smell burning paper, there was concrete dust everywhere,” he told CBS3. “It looked like snow, a lot of dust, and you could smell jet fuel and the fires that were burning.”READ MORE: Woman Killed After Shooting Inside Kensington Home, Police Say
The group arrived after two planes crashed into the iconic World Trade Center, hitting the North and South towers. They had a single task: searching for any survivors in the rubble of the buildings.
“We were just searching for people and hoping someone makes noise or a sound,” he said.READ MORE: Cars Towed, Scrapped In Wilmington Leads To Federal Lawsuit
The widespread devastation and destruction put Murphy and the team in a difficult position. Standing inside the Fireman’s Hall Museum in Philadelphia, Murphy told Eyewitness News it was unlike anything he’s ever seen.
“When a house collapses in Philadelphia, you search left to right and front to back. Well, no one knew where front was and no one knew where back was,” he said.
The heroic work never went unnoticed, and Murphy said it will stay with him forever.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Parking Authority Launching Pilot Program Targeting Illegally Parked Cars In Bike, Bus Lanes
“It always lives with you, what it is,” he said. “It’s a reminder for those people who come after us that it serves as a reminder on what happened that day.”