Michael Lourine’s first day on the job as a New York City firefighter was one he never forgot: Sept. 11, 2001.
“He was called to serve after both towers fell and was stationed at Ground Zero for over 30 days,” his older sister, Deborah Shane, 37, said. “The tragedy of 9/11 only fueled the fire of Mike’s passion to help save people’s lives even more.”
Mr. Lourine’s own life was tragically cut short this Sept. 8 when he lost control of his motorcycle while making a turn on Main Road in Mattituck and hit his head on a utility pole. He was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center but died soon after. He was 33.
“Thirty-three years is a life story,” Mr. Lourine’s mother, Anne Byrnes, said. “He was everything to me. My greatest gifts in life are my two children, and my greatest accomplishments have been my two children.”
Mr. Lourine always had his eye on becoming a firefighter, Ms. Shane said — in large part because their father, Charles Lourine, was a New York City firefighter for more than 30 years. In fact, Ms. Shane said, their dad’s retirement from the FDNY coincided with Michael Lourine’s 2001 entry into it, and he gave his son his badge number.
“Mike looked up to and admired our father for his accomplishments as a fireman and was never shy about confessing his desire to emulate that level of heroism someday,” Ms. Shane said.
Close friend Joe Goodman, who met Mr. Lourine when they were both kids in Farmingville and he “came banging on my door to trade baseball cards,” said Mr. Lourine’s dedication to his work “could not begin to be explained in words.
“The day I knew Mike was going to make [the FDNY] was the day I looked at him after he got off the treadmill for a three-mile run and went right to the StairMaster with 50-pound dumbbells in each hand and did that for another 20 minutes,” he said. “I asked him why he worked so hard for the test and he said, ‘Joe, all I want to do is be a firefighter.’ And that is what he did.”
On June 7, 2007, Mr. Lourine was one of five Ladder Co. 105 firefighters honored by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on FDNY Medal Day 2007 for their outstanding teamwork in responding to a December 2006 blaze at a home for mentally disabled adults in Brooklyn. Several people, some of them seriously injured, were rescued.
“It’s an honor for the company,” Mr. Lourine told the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York in an article published the day after the medals were presented. “That’s the best part: it’s not an individual honor. When you’re a team, you’re a team.”
Mr. Lourine’s other lifelong passions, Ms. Shane said, were going to the gym, playing golf with his mother, rebuilding performance cars and riding his 2006 Kawasaki motorcycle, which he bought several years ago.
His favorite ride was driving along Route 25 from Farmingville to Greenport and back.
“He said he loved the experience of the ride,” Ms. Shane said. “His commitment to the FDNY and his love for riding defined the person he was.”