Thousands turn out for FDNY lieutenant's funeral - KMSP-TV

Thousands turn out for FDNY lieutenant's funeral

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A table near the altar inside St. Clare's Church on Staten Island. July 10, 2014 (MyFoxNY) A table near the altar inside St. Clare's Church on Staten Island. July 10, 2014 (MyFoxNY)
Lt. Gordon Ambelas Lt. Gordon Ambelas
NEW YORK (AP) -- Thousands of firefighters from across the country descended upon a narrow New York City avenue for the funeral of a fallen fire lieutenant.

Firefighters from St. Louis; Philadelphia; Boston; Monroe, Connecticut; and elsewhere lined up in uniform Thursday on Staten Island to honor Gordon "Matt" Ambelas.

Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered a eulogy at St. Clare's Church.

The 14-year Fire Department of New York veteran died Saturday night from smoke inhalation and burns in a cluttered Brooklyn high-rise apartment.

He was the first firefighter to die in the line of duty in more than two years.

Fire officials said Sunday that a preliminary investigation showed a pinched electrical cord in a cluttered apartment started the blaze on the 19th floor.

Flames quickly spread to the 17th and 18th floors. Ambelas was among the first firefighters in the building.

The 40-year-old leaves behind a wife and two small children.

Annapolis, Maryland, firefighter Stephen Taylor says firefighters are family, whether or not they know each other.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 

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