Ladder 20’s Firehouse Dalmatian Has Passed On

Four years ago, I wrote a post about a fire truck that happened to pass me on Houston. A normal occurrence, except for one odd detail: this one had a dalmatian hanging out the window.


I couldn’t believe it – I’d always assumed the firehouse dalmatian to be the sort of thing confined to Norman Rockwell paintings, but here it was in real life on the streets of New York. I took a trip down to Ladder 20 the next day to meet this fearless pup in person. “Hang on,” said the fireman who opened the door, “Let me see if I can wake her up.”


Finally, after a few long minutes of waiting, a very sleepy dog stumbled out to say hi.


She came to the sidewalk, paused, started squinting into the sun…


Glanced at me like, “seriously, you woke me up for this?”…


…Then resumed squinting into the sun…


…and I think fell asleep standing up.


This is Twenty, Ladder 20’s adopted dalmatian, and I’m sad to report she has passed on at the age of 14. Donated as a puppy to the firehouse to provide comfort after 9/11 (the company lost seven men in the tragedy, along with seven men from Squad 18 which was temporarily housed in their building), she was known to countless New Yorkers as the company’s fearless companion, head always held high out the window of the fire truck as it sped through traffic to save another life.


From the NYC Fire Wire:

Signal 5-5-5-5 has been transmitted (FDNY Line of Duty Death).

14 years ago, the brothers of Ladder 20 accepted a dalmatian into their lives, donated by the Rochester Sheriffs Department shortly after 9/11/01.

The pup was rightfully named ‘Twenty’. The pup brought smiles to the firehouse and was always ready to turn out with the brothers, even for a relocation or a stuck elevator at 2am.

It is with great sadness the Officers & Members of Ladder 20 must say good bye to Twenty today. Twenty stole many hearts of both the Members and Neighbors who walk by the firehouse. She was there to ease the pain of 9/11, and did a great job at it.

NYC Fire Wire extend our condolences.


Rest in peace, Twenty. You’ve earned it.


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  1. I used to see Twenty keeping an eye on things around WSQ. Always overjoyed me to see a Dalmatian hanging out of a fire engine. RIP, buddy.

  2. Sorry for your loss Ladder 20. there is a Dalmatian that needs your help in Brooklyn:

  3. I was sad to hear of Twenty’s passing. I am the photographer who took the B&W photo you have posted here. I am glad to see it being useful. Ten years after I took the photo I brought a framed image to the fire house and got to meet her. It was awesome.