Johnston Fire Department Lt. Matthew Maurachian had just finished dropping off a patient at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when his eyes caught a TV in the hallway.
He said he and his rescue partner, John, watched as smoke poured out of the World Trade Center’s North Tower in Manhattan. They barely had time to process the tragedy before a plane struck the South Tower.
“The aftermath of the first plane strike was unfolding before our eyes,” Maurachian said. “Not knowing at the time that the terrorist plot was playing out on live television, we watched in horror as the North Tower burned.”
It began a weeks-long journey for Maurachian, who would travel to Ground Zero as part of Rhode Island’s Disaster Medical Assistance Team 1, or DMAT. He recounted his story during the New England Institute of Technology’s observance of the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, held Monday morning at its East Greenwich campus.