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Thousands of firefighters, others expected at funeral of NYC firefighter killed in blaze

APTOPIX NYC Firefighter Killed-1.jpg

Signs commemorating Lt. Gordon Ambelas are displayed across the street from a firehouse in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. 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. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (The Associated Press)

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.

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