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NYC firefighter trapped in apartment blaze killed

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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NEW YORK (AP) -- New York firefighters are mourning the death of a 40-year-old lieutenant killed when he became trapped on an upper floor of a Brooklyn public-housing high-rise.

Lt. Gordon Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said.

"We lost a real hero tonight and our hearts are heavy," Mayor Bill de Blasio said of the 14-year veteran of the force. "I ask every New Yorker to keep the lieutenant in their prayers."

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro told reporters that Ambelas sustained multiple injuries after he went into an apartment on fire to look for victims. He was found unconscious inside of the apartment and was removed by fellow firefighters, de Blasio said.

"Ambelas went into the apartment to search for life and did not come out, and by the time his brother firefighters found him, it was too late for him," Nigro said.

It is the department's first line-of-duty death since Lt. Richard A. Nappi was killed fighting a Brooklyn warehouse blaze in April 2012. Ambelas is the 18th to die since 343 firefighters perished in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Two other firefighters were treated at Bellevue Hospital for minor injuries. Two residents received treatment at the scene for minor injuries.

Ambelas, a 40-year-old married father of two daughters from Staten Island, was among the firefighters honored last month for helping to save a 7-year-old boy who became trapped in a roll-down gate in May.


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