BROOKLYN, New York City (WABC) -- A father and his three adult sons are believed to be the largest legacy family of color in the FDNY.
Robert Thomas and his sons Jason, Nathan, and Stephen are firefighters at FDNY stations throughout Brooklyn.
"I knew what the fire department could do for them and the type of courage that you would be able to develop," Robert Thomas said. "I knew they were going to go far beyond within themselves, a level that you just can't explain how brave you actually become."
Growing up the boys loved going to the fire station with their dad.
"Just the comradery, hanging out with fellow firefighters' sons and daughters and it was just great to see how everyone meshed," Nathan Thomas said.
But Robert never pressured the boys into following in his footsteps. Before they became firefighters Jason wanted to become a stockbroker, Nathan wanted to go into business and Stephen joined the Navy.
In 2014, Jason and Nathan graduated from the academy. Stephen graduated in September.
The Thomas' do occasionally see each other at fires, but they usually only have time for a quick hello before they get back to doing what they love.
"We're all here as a department to uplift each other, as brothers and sisters," Jason Thomas said. "So I feel like that responsibility lies on all our shoulders."
FDNY family: 3 sons follow in dad's footsteps, become firefighters in Brooklyn