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Break In and Fire at 9/11 Memorial Chapel

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Joined: Mar 17, 2005
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Location: Staten Island

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 3:58 pm    Post subject: Break In and Fire at 9/11 Memorial Chapel
From Sat Oct 31, 2009 3:00 am to Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:59 am (included)
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31 October 2009

Dear Families,

An unfortunate incident occurred this morning at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), details of which we wish to share with you.

At approximately 8AM this morning, a break-in was discovered in the memorial chapel housed behind OCME. This chapel served as a quiet sanctuary where families could spend time near the remains of their loved ones and leave notes, photos, mementos, etc. behind.

While the incident is still under investigation and details are sparse, what we do know is after the break-in, mementos were gathered and a fire was started in the chapel. We are unclear as to whether or not the mementos were stolen or burnt but little remains inside the chapel. Aside from smoke damage, the chapel itself remains largely intact.

Please rest assured that we are doing our best to understand why this senseless crime occurred and who was behind it. Out of respect for the families however, we want to share what information we do have directly before it is reported by the press. Included below is the Mayor’s statement on this incident.

Another update will be sent when more details emerge.


Nazli Parvizi Christy Ferer

Commissioner 9/11 Liaison

Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit Office of the Mayor

October 31, 2009

No. 479



“Just before nine o’clock today, the FDNY was called to a fire in the chapel of Memorial Park, the temporary resting place of remains of those who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Those remains will eventually be moved to the permanent memorial at Ground Zero, but until that time, Memorial Park is a solemn and special place reserved for family members of 9/11 victims.

“The FDNY quickly extinguished the fire and the fire damage was limited to the chapel, which will be repaired by the Chief Medical Examiner. There was no damage to any 9/11 remains, but mementoes and candles left by family members in honor of 9/11 victims were destroyed or possibly stolen. Family members who visit the Memorial Park chapel and have already gone through such enormous loss have my sympathy.

“Fire Marshals have determined that this fire was intentionally set and the chapel will be temporarily treated as a crime scene. Anyone who would set fire to the inviolable Memorial Park chapel is craven and contemptible. Fire Marshals and Police will investigate this aggressively and bring whoever is responsible to justice.”


Contact: Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958
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