NEW YORK – The first Hispanic commissioner of the New York Fire Department and the department’s commander during the Feb. 26 attacks, Carlos Rivera, died at 86 on Monday.

Born in Manhattan to Puerto Rican parents, Rivera joined the New York Fire Department in 1958, was promoted through the ranks, and served New York City in all five boroughs. Commissioner Rivera was appointed New York City’s twenty-sixth fire commissioner by Mayor David Dinkins in 1990 and held that position until his resignation on August 31, 1993.

“Carlos Rivera valiantly served our city for 35 years, including leading the Department during the 1993 World Trade Center attack,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said on instagram.

Rivera led the department during the 1993 attacks on the Twin Towers, when a hydrogen bomb exploded in the North Tower parking lot on February 26, the intention of which was to cause the North Tower to crash into the South Tower, knocking both towers down and killing tens of thousands of people.

During his tenure in the department, Rivera received two awards for bravery and for administrative excellence.

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