In The News

30 Apr 2012

I thought 'why did God save my life on 9/11?' Counselling made me realise I was blessed

Louie Cacchioli is a true hero. From April 1982 he was a firefighter with New York’s Engine Company 47 and fought some of the worst fires in the city’s history.

But it was the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001 that were to change his life forever.

When the World Trade Center was targeted by al-Qaida, the married father-of-three, now 61, was part of a rescue team that responded to the disaster in the North Tower.

The Italian-born New Yorker was separated from his colleagues and single-handedly saved the lives of around 40 civilians by leading them down a stairwell to safety.

He narrowly escaped death when the North Tower collapsed, but 343 of his “brother firefighters” lost their lives.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Louie Cacchioli rebuilt his shattered life and is now involved in a 9/11 survivors group, as well as giving tours of Ground Zero.

“At the time I didn’t want to live any more,” Louie said.

“I thought, ‘why did God save me?’ and I had a lot of unanswered questions.

“I didn’t think I needed to go to counselling, but I did. I now believe in counselling 110%. It saved my life.

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Belfast Telegraph

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