Last week, a Brooklyn Firefighter, Gordon Matthew Ambelas died on the job in an attempt to rescue two residents trapped inside the Brooklyn high-rise.
A man who made a career out of rescuing people – from the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attack, to the floods of Hurricane Sandy, could not be saved from the blaze.
Investigators sought to determine how a fire that did not at first appear unusual ended in the first death of a city firefighter in the line of duty in more than two years. A preliminary investigation found that it was started by an air-condition power cord that was “pinched” between the bed and a wall on its way to a power outlet. The apartment was cluttered and crammed with possessions, making it more difficult to search the apartment.
At the lieutenant’s firehouse on Hooper Street, in the Hasidic Jewish section of Williamsburg, not far from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, one thing was clear: Lieutenant Ambelas, “Matt” to his friends, had died as he had lived, on the front lines.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of Mrs. Ambelas and we remember the heroic efforts of all our lost NYC firefighters.