Thousands come to pay respects to fallen NYC firefighter

Thousands of firefighters from across the country attend funeral services for fallen New York City firefighter Lt. Gordon 'Matt' Ambelas on July 10, 2014 in the Staten Island borough of New York City. The 40-year-old Ambelas, who died while fighting a high-rise fire in Brooklyn last Saturday, is the first FDNY firefighter to die in the line of duty in more than two years. The popular firefighter leaves behind a wife and two small children on Staten Island. Credit: Getty Images
Thousands of firefighters from across the country attend funeral services for fallen New York City firefighter Lt. Gordon ‘Matt’ Ambelas on July 10, 2014 in Staten Island. Credit: Getty Images

Thousands turned out to say farewell to fallen firefighter Gordon Ambelas at St. Clare’s Church in Staten Island this morning. Hundreds also reportedly paid their respects on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Casey-McCallum-Rice Funeral Home.

“This is a harsh reminder of the dangers the men and women of the FDNY face every single day. He is the second firefighter to fall in the last two years, the 1,144th firefighter to make the ultimate sacrifice since the FDNY was founded in 1865,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the funeral. 

Ambelas, 40, passed away Saturday after battling a fire in a Williamsburg high-rise building.

Fire Department said the lieutenant was attempting to make sure no victims were left in the building when he was trapped in a bedroom and suffered life-threatening injuries.

Abmelas, a Staten Island resident, is survived by his wife and two children.



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