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City firefighter recalls dramatic rescue in Haiti

Amazing.

That was the word FDNY Battalion Chief Joseph Downey used to describe his team's dramatic rescue late Tuesday of two young children from the rubble in Port-au-Prince.

"What an incredible experience and rescue," Downey wrote in an e-mail to his wife Lynn from the earthquake site, hours before a strong aftershock sent people running for cover again Wednesday.

"Everyone is well, feeling great after the rescues," added Downey, of West Islip. "Please spread the news."

And in a brief interview later in the day arranged by the NYPD, Downey said, "We are out there making missions and trying to find people."

The team learned of children at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, when an American aid worker found that a man had been lowering bottled water into a hole in three stories of debris down to what he believed was a trapped, living child, said an NYPD spokesman.

After finding the bodies of three of the children's siblings, Downey's unit used a video camera probe to locate a boy, 8, and a girl, 10, and extricate them. They received medical treatment and were reunited with their parents.

A FDNY spokesman said that the aftershock didn't affect the rescue crew.

"Everybody is accounted for down there," spokesman Frank Dwyer said.

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