Lieutenant Gordon Matthew Ambelas, a 14-year veteran of the FDNY, was killed in a Saturday night fire in a public housing building in Williamsburg. NBC New York reports that Ambelas, who was among the 100 firefighters who responded to reports of a blaze on the 19th floor of the Wilson Street high-rise, became trapped in a bedroom while he was checking for residents to evacuate.
Officials said that the 40-year-old was pulled out of the building unconscious and was pronounced dead at Woodhull Medical Center a short time later. “We have lost a real hero,” Mayor de Blasio said of Ambelas, who was honored last month for using the “jaws of life” to save a 7-year-old boy whose head and arm got stuck in a roll-down gate. “We’re all very fortunate to have the men and women of FDNY at the ready to risk their own lives so that each and every one of us can be safe.” Four other people — two firefighters and two people who lived in the high-rise — were treated for minor injuries.