William E. Krukowski

William E. Krukowski
World Trade Center

Pedal to the Metal

When William E. Krukowski gave up his motorcycle — and, by the way, skydiving — he took up with a bicycle. He got his exercise: he rode the bike to work most days at Ladder Company 21 in Manhattan from his home in Bayside, Queens.

He was a firefighter for about three years. He grew up in Bayside and went to Holy Cross High School and Nassau Community College. While he was waiting to be called to the Fire Department, he worked in construction and with the New York Department of Sanitation at Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, where, more recently, the rubble from ground zero has been taken.

Firefighter Krukowski was separated from his wife but spent a lot of time with his son, William Lee, 10. "I am so proud of the kind of father my brother was to his son through all the difficulties of his personal relationship," said his sister, Virginia.

His other love was souping up a car and then trying it out on a drag strip, his mother, Barbara, said. His father, Walter, said his son would also be remembered as a collector of junk, most of which Firefighter Krukowski brought to his grandparents' place in Connecticut, where there was more room. "Thanks, Bill," his father said. "I know what I'll be doing someday when I retire."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 22, 2001.

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