NEW YORK – Thousands of people are expected to attend the funeral of a New York City firefighter killed in a burning, cluttered apartment at a high-rise public housing building.
Firefighters will salute Lt. Gordon "Matt" Ambelas' (am-BEHL'-ihs) as he's transported Thursday in a caisson during the procession between a Staten Island funeral home and nearby church.
The 40-year-old Ambelas is the first FDNY firefighter to die in the line of duty in more than two years.
Officials say a pinched electrical cord started the Saturday night fire in Brooklyn. The medical examiner says smoke inhalation and burns caused the 14-year veteran's death.
Exactly how he died is still under investigation. Officials say the apartment was extremely cluttered, which made searching for victims dangerous.
He leaves behind a wife and two young children.