The remains of Staten Island firefighter Lt. Jeffrey Walz were positively identified by the NYC Medical Examiner’s office on Friday, almost 12 years after his death on September 11, 2001.
Many firefighters in Walt’z unit, Ladder 9, were able to get out of Tower 1 before it collapsed, but 37-year-old Walz was lost.
"The only way to describe Jeff is to say he was the most caring, gentle, kind and patient person ever to enter my life," his wife Rani Lurie told the Advance in the weeks after the attack. "I've never known anyone like him."
His remains were collected before May 2002, but the medical examiner said Friday that they were only retested and indentified recently. Of 2,753 people who died at the World Trade Center, 1,637 people have now been identified. Remains are retested and identified on a regular basis.
Walz was an engineer before he chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a firefighter in 1992. His sister, Karen Ciaccio, called him “a gentle giant.” He left behind a wife and a toddler son named Bradley, who is likely finishing high school now.
Walz was posthumously promoted to lieutenant.