FDNY firefighter makes plea for lost helmet

A retired FDNY firefighter from Long Island, who was on hand during the Sept. 11 attacks, is hoping to have his stolen fire helmet returned.

Since O'Connell made his Facebook post, thousands have been sharing the picture on social media in an effort to find the lost item.

Since O'Connell made his Facebook post, thousands have been sharing the picture on social media in an effort to find the lost item. (6/3/15)

WESTBURY - A retired FDNY firefighter from Westbury who was on hand during the Sept. 11 attacks is hoping to have his stolen fire helmet returned.

Michael O'Connell made a plea in a Facebook post, "This was my FDNY helmet I wore my entire career including 9/11/01. It was stolen from my home a while back. I know it's a long shot but if enough people share maybe it turns up or is sent back so I can keep it in my family!"

It's been three years since O'Connell has seen his helmet. He says someone stole it from his home while the family was renovating. It's a treasured part of his personal history as a firefighter, right down to the numbers above the brim.

"One is my shield number which was 4073. And the other was the company that I was assigned to during that picture, which was Ladder 142," said O'Connell.

Since he made the Facebook post, O'Connell has reached upward of 8 million people within 24 hours.

"I don't hold any grudges. Just bring it back. Bring it back to my children," he told News 12. "Let them have a piece of me as a fireman again."

O'Connell retired from the FDNY in 2009. He has three young children.

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