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“Dennis Scauso”


555 Fitness Hero WOD

1.8K 61
  • For Time
  • 25 Pull-Ups
  • 10 Deadlifts (225/155 lb)
  • 50 Push-Ups
  • 10 Deadlifts (225/155 lb)
  • 75 Sit-Ups
  • 10 Deadlifts (225/155 lb)
  • 100 Air Squats
  • 10 Deadlifts (225/155 lb)
  • 125 Flutter Kicks (4 counts)

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namesake photo

This Firefighter Hero WOD is dedicated to Dennis Scauso, FDNY, HazMat 1, who was killed on September 11, 2001.

Dennis Scauso, 46, of Dix Hills, was with the New York City Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Company No. 1 in Maspeth. He died in the south tower. Only his helmet was recovered.

Dennis Scauso was the third of Rose and Salvatore Scauso’s four children and the only son. He kept in close touch, often stopping by for lunch, or calling to check on them.

So in the days after 9/11, when his parents had not heard from him, they knew they were hoping for a miracle. If he’d survived, “he definitely would have called,” said Rose, 84, a full-time secretary for United Cerebral Palsy. “A few months later they finally found his helmet,” she said. “It was very painful, especially the condition it was in. It was completely crushed.”

Working keeps her busy, which helps her cope. “It’s not been easy, you just don’t ever forget,” she said. She likes going to the ceremonies at Ground Zero. “I find it very consoling to be with people who feel like I feel,” she said.

Scauso, a pilot and animal lover, grew up in Commack, where future wife Janlyn was a neighbor. His parents remain close to her. The couple had four children, Juliette, now 14, Gabrielle, 16, Donny, 21, and Darcie, 23. On Sept. 9, Darcie gave birth to a boy who would have been Scauso’s first grandchild.

Janlyn Scauso, who lives in Melville, said the children have “a different sensitivity and insightfulness that makes me proud, and I know he would have been very proud. But this walk for the last 10 years has been beyond words.”

Said Gabrielle Scauso: “My dad was murdered. It’s not like you wake up one day and suddenly that void is filled … You don’t move on: you have to go to sleep, wake up and go on living.” Dennis Scauso was the kind of boy next door who wouldn’t give his pesky neighbor girl the time of day – that is until 20 years later when he married her.

A change in careers for Scauso and a family crisis for his future wife, Janlyn, reunited the two in their childhood Commack neighborhood, not more than a decade ago. It was then that Scauso fell in love with the same little girl who used to spy on him as he tossed the football with her older brothers in the backyard or fixed up cars in his driveway. “I had a crush on him,” said Janlyn Scauso, 39. “But I just never thought it was returned until we were older.”

Scauso, 46, a New York City firefighter who was part of the Hazardous Materials Company No. 1 in Maspeth, was in Tower Two Sept. 11 when it collapsed. He is among the missing.

Scauso graduated from Commack South High School and worked his way through aeronautical school in Daytona Beach, Fla. He was a bartender, a construction worker and a mechanic, among other jobs, until he became a pilot.

He flew for Ozark Airlines and TWA, but it was difficult to find steady work. So he moved around the country piloting chartered flights where he could. Eventually, he returned to Long Island to his parents’ home in Commack while he became a firefighter. It was then that Janlyn’s father fell ill. She returned home to tend to her father for several months. Scauso noticed her Monte Carlo SS had been damaged in an accident. He decided he would work on it for free. He fixed the car and married her.

His wife remembers a husband who loved his four children, Darcie, 13, Donny, 12, Gabrielle, 6, and Juliette, 4, and who loved to fix things, who liked to have as many people as possible around the dinner table and who cared for animals.

Last year he was helping build an extension on the family’s Dix Hills home and noticed a dozen salamanders crawling around in a pool of tar. He gingerly picked the tiny creatures out of the goop and cleaned them. He called a friend who works at the Bronx Zoo for advice about where to set them free.

His wife last spoke to her husband on Sept. 11, before the buildings collapsed. “I said to him like I do every time, ‘You’re my everything, the air I breathe and the reason I wake up in the morning.’ He said, ‘Right back at ya.’ “And that was the last time I talked to him.”

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