The Nut of The Nuthouse
John Florio was born in Middle Village, Queens, on November 29, 1967. A graduate of St. Francis Prep High School in Fresh Meadows, he resided in Oceanside and attended Nassau Community College for a few years before taking the fire department test. Assigned to Engine 214/Ladder 111 in Bed Stuy, he was the metalhead of his Brooklyn firehouse, and an electric presence in a place that was already called "The Nuthouse."
Florio was described by a friend as being built like a fire hydrant, who “wasn't really tall or anything, but he was all muscle." Others described him as an athlete, built like a box of bricks, and if it was 6am and Metallica was blasting from the basement of the firehouse, it meant that John J. Florio was down there pumping iron. An enormous fan of Metallica, he and lead singer James Hetfield actually struck up a relationship exchanging letters to each other. It is even said that the night the members of Engine 214 found his body, someone called to say ‘turn on the radio’. They did, right on cue with the opening riff of a Metallica song.
Florio became the starting halfback the first year he tried out for the FDNY Bravest Football Team. He coached his son's Little League team, as well as his football team, the East Rockaway Raiders.
John Florio is survived by his wife, Shari, and his children, Michael, and Kylie.