Fallen Whitestone fireman honored with street name

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Friends, neighbors and family of Michael Carlo gathered at a Whitestone corner Saturday afternoon to honor the lost firefighter in a street renaming ceremony.

Carlo, a native of Whitestone, was one of 343 firefighters who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. He was assigned to Engine Co. 230 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

On Saturday a sign reading “Firefighter Michael Carlo Avenue” was unveiled at the corner of 149th Street and 8th Avenue.

Having grown up down the block, Carlo was no stranger to the corner.

In the early 1980s, he crashed his motor bike into the windshield of a car parked at the very same intersection.

Danny Papa, the owner of the car, heard the accident and leapt out of his business, Whitestone Dental Lab.

“He went right through the windshield of my brand new 1982 Firebird,” Papa said. “His arm was bleeding. He said, ‘Don’t tell my father, he’ll kill me. I’ll work it off.’”

Papa took up Carlo on his offer. For two years, Carlo worked at the Whitestone Dental Lab while attending Bayside High School. The two remained friends ever since.

Carlo’s parents did not find out the truth about his job at the lab until after his death.

“My parents thought he was a great kid going out getting a job,” said Rob Carlo, Michael Carlo’s older brother, who is also a firefighter. “They didn’t know the real reason.”

Ever since he was a teenager, Michael Carlo was a fan of motorcycles and boating, his brother said.

“He had four or five different boats, from speedboats to sailboats,” Rob Carlo said.

After graduating from high school, Michael Carlo worked for a roofing company. He and his brother trained together for the firefighter’s exam.

“We both took the physical on the same day,” Rob Carlo said. “We both got 100s on the physical.”

The two brothers remained close as they grew older. They played together on the Fire Department’s volleyball team and traveled down to the Caribbean every year to take sailing classes.

Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) helped arrange the street renaming ceremony.

“He’s one of many individuals who have enabled us to enjoy democracy and freedom,” the councilman said.

A memorial ceremony was held in Carlo’s honor on Nov. 30, 2001 at Holy Trinity Church in Whitestone. The firefighter’s remains, however, have not been recovered, and his family has not held a funeral.

Friends and family called the street sign an appropriate memorial for the firefighters.

“It’s fitting,” Papa said. “He went from a cool kid to a brave man, I’ll tell you that.”

Rob Coppola, who grew up with Michael Carlo, said Carlo inspired him to become a firefighter.

“If I know Mike, every time you drive past that sign, he would want you to think about all the good things in your life,” Coppola said.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 141.

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group