Joseph J. Ogren

Joseph  J. Ogren
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Rambunctious Brothers

Joseph J. Ogren and his brother Lance were always close.

Tall and athletic, Joseph, who was called Jay, and Lance earned swimming scholarships to St. John's University. They both ran the New York City Marathon -- twice. They both loved music and played guitar. And they rented a house in Staten Island and lived upstairs-downstairs from each other. "We knew each other inside and out," said Lance Ogren.

The youngest of five children, the two brothers enjoyed each other's company, sometimes a little too much. Their mother, Dorothy Ogren, said that when they visited their siblings and nieces and nephews, the siblings sometimes said the brothers "were too wild for their children."

In 1992, the brothers took the exam to become firefighters and both scored well. Even so, it was four years before there was an opening for Lance Ogren. Jay Ogren had to wait another two years.

Once he joined the Fire Department, Jay Ogren was assigned to Ladder Company 3, one block south of Union Square, where he was working on Sept. 11. Lance was off-duty that day.

Mrs. Ogren was surprised by their career choice. "Of my children, I never expected them to go into the Fire Department," she said. But once Lance Ogren became a firefighter, it was likely that Jay Ogren would, too. After all, they were twins, born 31 years ago today.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 28, 2001.

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