NEW YORK (AP) – New York City fire officials say a high-rise blaze that killed a fire lieutenant started in a pinched electrical cord in a cluttered apartment, adding that the fire has been ruled accidental.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro says an air conditioner cord was pinned between a bed frame and a wall in the 19th-floor Brooklyn apartment, where Lt. Gordon Ambelas became trapped while looking for possible victims.
Nigro says that although the cause and origin of Saturday night’s fire has been determined, the department’s investigation remains ongoing into its first line-of-duty death in more than two years.
On Sunday, firefighters solemnly hung flag bunting at the Brooklyn firehouse where the 40-year-old married father of two daughters from Staten Island had worked for the last several months of his 14-year career.
A fellow firefighter, friend and former roommate, Eric Bischoff, says Ambelas “died a hero – that’s how he lived.” Bischoff calls Ambelas “truly one of the best human beings that anyone would ever want to meet.”