FDNY legend, author Dennis Smith dies; fire service leaders share tributes
Smith wrote the renowned “Report from Engine Co. 82” and later founded Firehouse Magazine
By FireRescue1 staff
NEW YORK — Fire service legend Dennis Smith has died, reported FirefighterCloseCalls.com on Saturday.
Smith is best known for authoring “Report from Engine Co. 82,” a memoir that chronicled his career as a firefighter with the FDNY in a South Bronx firehouse in the 1960s and 1970s, dubbed the “War Years” in New York City. Years later, after retiring from FDNY, Smith responded to the 9/11 attacks and later chronicled his time at Ground Zero in the book “Report from Ground Zero.”
DENNIS SMITH, FDNY LEGEND: Rest In Peace https://t.co/GZ5PCUNuqz @FDNY @UFANYC @IAFC @CFSIUpdate @NFFF_News @FirehouseNews @FireRescue1 @fireengineering @FDNYpipeband @nycfiremuseum @TheSecretList #dennissmith #fdny #RestInPeace pic.twitter.com/QmWzlxmg2R— FirefighterCloseCall (@TheSecretList) January 22, 2022
In 1976, Smith founded Firehouse Magazine. In 2016, to mark the 40-year anniversary of the founding of Firehouse Magazine, then-Editor-in-Chief Tim Sendelbach wrote: “With Report from Engine Co. 82, Dennis demonstrated the remarkable power of a story and its unique ability to captivate and influence an audience. His goal with Firehouse was simply to create a magazine for firefighters, a medium in which they too could tell their story and share in their own words what it was like to be a firefighter.”
Smith was also known for his fire service advocacy, and was recognized over the years through numerous awards from groups like the Congressional Fire Services Institute, the National Fire Academy, the International Association of Fire Chiefs and FDNY.
The New York Times published an obituary for Smith here. And CBS News published a video about his life.
Firefighters and fire service leaders are sharing their tributes and memories on social media:
Sad to learn of the passing of Dennis Smith. He was the author of Report From Engine Company 82, 14 other books, & the founder of #FirehouseMagazine. As a columnist for Firehouse Magazine for 22 years, I owe much to Dennis! RIP Dennis @FirehouseNews @PeterMFirehouse pic.twitter.com/XkdT7P1wAy— Gary Ludwig (@ChiefGaryLudwig) January 22, 2022
Dennis Smith was another influence to become a Firefighter when I read "Report from Engine Co. 82" when I was 13-years old (and then Firehouse magazine). We were quoting that book this week in the firehouse this week. Rest in Peace. https://t.co/iFGUEgr777— John Vance (@vanceshow) January 22, 2022
Sad news about the passing of Dennis Smith, this was the very first firefighting book I ever read I got it when I was 15, all the people I looked up to said it was mandatory reading to be a fireman. When my oldest said he was interested in being a fireman I made him read this pic.twitter.com/FApYRsC3Je— Average Jake (@AverageJakeFF) January 22, 2022
Sad to hear that retired FDNY firefighter Dennis Smith, widely respected as the author of “Report from Engine Co. 82” and editor of Firehouse Magazine, has passed away. Both helped fuel my desire to join the fire service 20 years ago. RIP. pic.twitter.com/uHgph3UBdu— Joe Lowry (@PreparednessJoe) January 22, 2022