Home/WODs/The Heroes/Charles Margiotta
No Ads (Upgrade)

“Charles Margiotta”


555 Fitness Hero WOD

1.6K 67
  • For Time
  • 1000 meter Row
  • 20 Power Cleans (135/95 lb)
  • 1000 meter Row
  • 20 Power Snatches (135/95 lb)
  • 1000 meter Row
  • 20 Thrusters (135/95 lb)
  • 1000 meter Row

No Ads (Upgrade)
No Ads (Upgrade)
namesake photo
This Firefighter Hero WOD is dedicated to Charles Margiotta, FDNY, Battalion 22, who was killed on September 11, 2001.

There's a story — so old it must be true — about the time some wannabe hardcase was trying to pick a fight at Demyan's Hofbrau in Stapleton, another piece of Staten Island that isn't here anymore.

"You Chuck Margiotta?"


"I heard you were tough. You don't look so tough."

The guy took a swing. Mr. Margiotta took it, and turned back to face his attacker, who braced for the mayhem that was certain to follow. "If that's the best you've got," Mr. Margiotta told him, "you better sit next to me and have a beer."

Lt. Charles (Chuck) Margiotta was a tough guy — a football player, movie stuntman and 20-year veteran of the Fire Department — long before the morning of Sept. 11, when he heard the news on his truck radio and drove to the nearest firehouse in time to jump on the rig with the guys from Rescue Co. 5 in Concord. Now, he is among the thousands missing as a result of the attack on the World Trade Center.

But beneath his forbidding exterior — the stern facade, the tattoos and 240 pounds of muscle — was a gardener who nurtured tomato plants alongside Ladder Co. 85 in New Dorp; a caring neighbor who ran into the street in his pajamas to help an elderly woman who had fallen; a loving father who coached his kids' basketball, softball and soccer teams.

"He was the nicest tough guy I ever met," said Jimmy Ernst, a classmate at Monsignor Farrell High School. For every burning building he ran into, there are three stories about the college student who brought stranded classmates home at Thanksgiving; the Samaritan who plowed every sidewalk on the block when it snowed; the hunter who stopped to give mouth-to-straw-to-beak resuscitation to a bird that had fallen from a tree.

"He was the champion of the underdog," said his brother, Mike. "If you were the kid nobody wanted in a choose-up game, you wouldn't be his last pick. You'd be his first pick."

Mr. Margiotta, 44, lived most of his life on the same block in Meiers Corners, where he knew everyone by name. He played football almost as long — at Monsignor Farrell, where he was a hard-blocking tight end and a member of the National Honor Society; at Brown University, where he was an undersized nose guard, and later for the Fire Department team and in the Staten Island Touch Tackle League. When Brown's 1976 Ivy League champions were honored at their 20th reunion, his teammates chose Mr. Margiotta to speak for them.

But football wasn't his first sport. He was an indefatigable outdoorsman, having learned to hunt and fish at an early age. "That was his passion," said his father, Charles Vito. "If you were in the woods, lost, you wanted to be with Chuck."

Marriage and children didn't curb that enthusiasm for the outdoors. He just rearranged his schedule, often leaving in the dead of night to go hunting, so he could be home to coach a soccer game later that day. He was the youth basketball director at St. Rita's R.C. Parish in Meiers Corners.

After graduating Brown with a double major in English and sociology, Mr. Margiotta worked for General Motors before being called by the Fire Department in 1981. He was first in his class at probie school and worked 15 years at Ladder Co. 40 in Harlem, earning eight departmental citations. After his promotion to lieutenant in 1996 he was assigned to Staten Island's 22nd Battalion, and spent the bulk of that time as an interim lieutenant at Ladder Co. 85.

At the time of his death, the paperwork had just been finalized on his permanent assignment to Ladder Co. 83 in Westerleigh. In his "spare" time, Mr. Margiotta found time to work as a stuntman in dozens of feature films, including "Hannibal"; as a private investigator, and for 20 years as a substitute school teacher for the New York City Board of Education.

"He wasn't happy," his brother said, "unless he was doing four things at once." He was driving home from Brooklyn after working a "mutual" for another officer Sept. 11 when he heard the news on the radio, turned off the Staten Island Expressway and found the Rescue Co. 5 truck ready to go.

His wife was working, so Mr. Margiotta called his mother from the speeding rig, concerned that because he wasn't on a duty roster, nobody would know where he was.

By then, the men from Rescue Co. 5 were minutes from the World Trade Center, close enough to see the horror awaiting them.
No Ads (Upgrade)
No Ads (Upgrade)
  • Category
    • Verified Benchmark WODs

    • More WODs

  • Score
    • 0 min
  • Movement
  • Equipment
  • Video
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!