Box 641 2nd Alarm

Monday, July 21, 2014 !2:21hrs  Rescue 2 responded to 252 Greene Ave. for a fire on the top floor of a four story non-fireproof building. Battalion 57 transmitted the all hands and a second alarm was transmitted with extension into the cockloft. All searches were negative , probally will hold giving at 13:19hrs. 




Thursday, July 10, 2014   FDNY firefighters say goodbye to Lt. Gordon Ambelas, who lived the way he died — a heroFirefighters gathered by the thousands on Nelson Ave. in Staten Island to pay their respects to Gordon Matthews Ambelas, who died last week in a high-rise blaze in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. His family and close friends were there too, many of them wearing T-shirts bearing his smiling face and a perfect legend: 'He lived he way he died — a hero.'
The men and women who rush into burning buildings to save our lives gather in the thousands on leafy Nelson Ave. in Staten Island under a sticky July sky.

Out of the dress blue, I’m greeted by a firefighter named Eddie Heegan of Ladder 153 in Gravesend who grew up with my older kids in Brooklyn. He’s here for the funeral of FDNY Lt. Gordon Ambelas, who died heroically last week in a high-rise blaze in Williamsburg.

I ask Heegan how he’s doing. He tells me he got married a year ago. I whisper congratulations.

“Yeah, Lt. Ambelas’ wake and funeral brought back a flood of emotions for my wife, Linda,” he says, reminding me how deep the unique FDNY brotherhood goes. She was the widow of Firefighter Joe Graffagnino, one of the firefighters who died in the Deutsche Bank Building fire in 2007. She belongs to a group of fire widows and she went to the wake for Gordon Ambelas and met his widow. It brought up a lot of emotions.

Emotions charge the whole block now, as an officer calls the men to attention, a rigid blue fire line as Ambelas’ cortege is led by five police motorcycles and one radio car with flashing lights. Then comes two gleaming fire engines from Tower Ladder 119 and Ladder 81, where Ambelas had served his city as a first responder, risking and finally giving his life to save others.

The door of each firetruck is inscribed: “In loving memory of Lt. Gordon Ambelas.” The street is now as quiet as eternity. The procession stops at the small, squat, red brick Church of St. Clare.

Heroes like this aren’t born. They are not taught. They discover themselves in the furnaces of human peril, revealed in that space between tick and tock where most of us flee for safety and a rare few delve deeper into the belly of the beast to help others.

What happened to him that day could happen to any of us any day.
Gordon Matthew Ambelas discovered he was one of the rarest of human beings. One who cared more for others than he did for his own safety.

And that’s why, as Ambelas’ family and close friends empty from the fire transport vans, many wear T-shirts bearing his handsome, smiling face and a perfect legend: “He lived the way he died — a hero.”

They file into the church, many already weeping for this knight of the city who leaves a wife and two young children.

On the door of one fire transport wagon is a memorial to “FF Michael Kieffer, Ladder 132, 9-11-01 . . . still helping others.”

You feel again in that moment the fierce brotherhood of these firefighters who live a high-wire life that includes a daily dance with death. You feel it even deeper as the pipers wail “Amazing Grace,” which lifts from this drowsy street in Great Kills and spreads across Staten Island where Ambelas lived. The mournful air wafts across the narrows on the stingy summer breeze, pealing across Brooklyn and out toward the wounded Rockaways and whipping off toward that solemn place in lower Manhattan where the darkest day in the city’s and the FDNY’s history happened 13 Septembers ago.

As the church doors close, the firefighters break ranks and greet each other with a special life-affirming embrace.I ask Eddie Heegan how his wife, who lost one husband to firefighting found her own courage, to marry another firefighter.

“I dunno. We met several years after her loss, and got to talking and she said she knew she shouldn’t spend her whole life in mourning,” he says. “She had two beautiful kids, Mia and Joe, and I asked her to go to a concert with me in Prospect Park. We went. We had fun. We fell in love. And last year we got married. She kept her Graffagnino name, to honor Joe, and for her kids . . . I’m raising these beautiful kids but Joe will always be their dad. I want them to know what kind of honorable life he led and that he died a hero.”

Inside the church, they were giving eulogies and saying prayers for another hero named Lt. Gordon Ambelas. Outside, Eddie Heegan, who was raising a hero’s kids, had come to pay his respects for a fallen FDNY brother.

“When I leave for work and tell her I love her and say, ‘See you later,’ we both know that maybe we won’t,” he says of his wife. “Same with Gordon Ambelas. What happened to him that day could happen to any of us any day. ”

Then he gazes around Nelson Ave., which is a blue brotherhood honoring a fallen hero named Lt. Gordon Ambelas.

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5-5-5-5 Lt. Ambelas Ladder 119

Sunday, July 6, 2014 0327hrs  Signal 5-5-5-5- transmitted for Lt. Gordon M. Ambelas Ladder 119.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro on July 6 announced the death of Lt. Gordon M. Ambelas, Ladder 119, a 14-year-veteran of the FDNY who died on July 5 from injuries sustained while attempting to save lives at a second-alarm fire in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

Lt. Ambelas, 40, was searching for trapped occupants in a 19th floor apartment at 75 Wilson St., when the fire flashed over and trapped him in a bedroom. He was found unconscious by fellow firefighters who removed him from the apartment and attempted to resuscitate him, along with EMS personnel. He was transported in critical condition to Woodhull Medical Center, where he later died.

“New York has suffered a terrible and tragic loss tonight with the death of Lt. Gordon Ambelas, who heroically died trying to protect and save others—something he’s done for more than 14 years for the city,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We all mourn his loss, and I ask every New Yorker to keep Lieutenant Ambelas and his family in their thoughts and prayers.”

“We are deeply shocked and saddened at the loss of one of our own—a devoted, veteran firefighter who had an enormous love for his job and our mission to help and save others,” said Fire Commissioner Nigro.

Lt. Ambelas—who friends and colleagues called “Matt”—was appointed as a firefighter on Feb. 1, 2000. After graduating from Probationary Firefighter School, he was assigned to Ladder Company 81 on Staten Island. In January 2001, Firefighter Ambelas transferred to Engine Company 28 in lower Manhattan, where he spent one year before returning to Ladder Company 81. On Sept. 14, 2013, Firefighter Ambelas was promoted to Lt. and assigned to Battalion 28 in northern Brooklyn, where he worked in various firehouses as a “covering” lieutenant. He spent the past several months working in Ladder Company 119.

He and the members of Ladder Company 119 were recently honored by the community of Williamsburg for rescuing a 7-year-old boy who was trapped in a roll down gate on Skillman Street on May 8.

The fire officer is the 1,143rd firefighter to die in the line of duty since the FDNY’s founding in 1865. The last member of the Department to die while on duty was Lt. Richard Nappi, on Apr. 16, 2012.

Lt. Ambelas, who lived on Staten Island, is survived by his wife, Nanette, and their two children.

From the Officers and Men of Rescue 2 our prayers and thoughts  go out to Lt Ambelas and his family. Rest in peace.



Box 0316 2nd Alarm 10-77

2nd alarm

Saturday, July 5, 2014 21:39hrs Rescue 2 responded to 75 Wilson Street off of Bedford. Fire was located on the 19th floor of the 21 story multiple dwelling. Two maydays were transmitted. Members quickly located a firefighter in the apartment who turned out to be Lt. Ambelas from Ladder 119. He  was quickly removed  in cardiac arrest and transported to Woodhull Hospital.



Box 1635 4th Alarm

Friday, July 4, 2014 01:53hrs  Rescue 2 responded to 214 Rockaway Pkwy. for a fire in a six story multiple dwelling. Battalion 44 transmitted the 10-75 for heavy fire in the cockloft. Fire was located in 3 different apartments requring  extensive overhaul . All searches were negative.


4th Alarm


Box 0371 Trauma

Thursday, June 26, 2014 18:22hrs  Rescue 2 responded to 50 Skillman Street for a child stuck in a roll down gate. Rescue operated along with members from Ladder 119 to remove the child stuck in the roll down. Air bags and Rescue 's TNT jaws were utilized to remove the stuck child. He was removed , treated and transported by E.M.S. 


Child Stuck In Roll Down


Box 0214 Water Rescue

Thursday, June 26, 2014 05:30hrs  Rescue 2 responded to Metropoliton Ave. and the East river for a person in the water. Divers from Rescue 2 were picked up by Marine 6 and deployed at the last known location of the victim . Diver Cameron Peek Rescue 2  descended more than 35 feet in a swift current but the search turned up negative.Searches were then turned over to the N.Y.P.D.                                                                                                                                              A young man from Brooklyn who turned 21 just three days ago went for a dawn swim in the East River on Thursday and was overcome by the swift current, authorities and his friend said Thursday.

NYPD Harbor Units were scouring the waters off of Williamsburg in searching for the missing swimmer, who was identified by family members as Steven Middleton.

“The current’s too strong ... it was just too strong,” said Middleton’s friend, Darius Adrien, one of four pals who watched helplessly from a decaying pier as he was pulled under and never resurfaced.

“He was the closest family I have,” Adrien added, stunned.

Middleton, a Bedford-Stuyvesant resident who had previously worked as security guard at Barclays Center, had been celebrating a friend’s graduation on Thursday night. About 5 a.m. on Thursday, while in Williamsburg, he decided to take a swim. He jumped into the East River from a rotting pier at N. Third St.

Adrien and other pals were about to join him, but quickly found themselves calling 911 when Middleton began struggling against the fierce current.

“They were just laughing, playing in the water,” said witness Manny Aguila, 30. “I left to go to the store. When I came back, some of the friends were standing on the rocks at the edge of the shore.”

“They were freaking out,” he said. “They were yelling to a police boat. They were pointing to where they last saw him, where they lost track of their friend.”

Middleton’s mother, Tonya Middleton, family members and friends came to the pier on Thursday afternoon, to see the site for themselves. The pier is closed off from the street by a fence.

“We just came here to understand,” said friend Joel Amaker. “He had two or three beers, he wasn’t intoxicated.”

Tonya Middleton saw three teenage boys slip through a small opening between the fence and a railing, and she could only imagine her son taking the same route in the moments before his swim.

“Where are you going?” she asked the teens.

They froze.

“My son was lost doing that. Don’t you watch the news? Please come back.”

The teens did as she asked.

“Right now, I just want to make sure they find my son,” she said as the search continued, and evening drew near. “I’m really concerned with them finding my son.”



Rescue 2 Fishing Trip

Saturday, June 7, 2014   Attention all former members , present members, family and friends of F.D.N.Y. Rescue Company 2. We will be holding our Annual Company fishing trip on Sunday June 22nd aboard The Captree Star . The boat will be leaving around 9:30 a.m. from the Captree Boat Basin . Call the firehouse for more info or go to for directions.



Man Wanted For A String of Church Fires

Arson Video

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  BROOKLYN (WABC) -- Police are searching for an arsonist wanted in a string of church fires in Brooklyn, and they're hoping new surveillance video will lead to an arrest.

The man was caught on camera setting a newspaper on fire in front of the one of the buildings. In all, three fires were set on three separate days.

The first incident happened just before 3 a.m. on April 12 at The Greater New Beginnings Church on East 98th Street. Police say the man lit a newspaper on fire, burning the inside doorway of the location.

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Then, on April 13 at 2:35 a.m., the man tossed an unknown object through a closed window of the Inglesia Cristiana Church on Pitkin Avenue. It caused a small fire in the bathroom that was quickly extinguished, causing minor damage to the bathroom.

Finally, just after 6:30 a.m. Monday, the suspect lit a newspaper on fire outside St. Mark's Church on Union Street, causing minor damage to the location.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).



N.Y.P.D. Officer Laid To Rest

Monday, April 14, 2014  ROCKAWAY BEACH (WABC) -- In a slow moving procession that stretched for blocks in Rockaway Beach, the NYPD brought fallen police officer Dennis Guerra and his family through a sea of officers standing shoulder-to-shoulder to a final tribute to a man they called a hero.

"He ran into a building to rescue people, and then the worst that could happen, happened to him," PBA President Pat Lynch said.

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Officer Guerra along and his partner Rosa Rodriguez, who remains in critical condition, were overcome by smoke and fumes as they answered a 911 call of a fire in the hallway of a city owned building in Coney Island.

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During the service, their bravery was remembered by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"We'll always remember with sorrow how Dennis left us that day, but we'll also remember with pride the example of valor and devotion to duty that he set," de Blasio said.

He also carried on a tradition as a NYPD officer following his father and uncle onto the force.

"He was a senior officer who was very respectful and responsible. He acted with dignity and he wore the uniform with honor and pride," Deputy Inspector Carlos Valdez said.

His brother-in-law Curtis Mitchell remembered his devotion to family.

"He was recently called a hero, but to all of his family Dennis was always a hero. And long before he will continue to live on in our hearts and memories as such," Mitchell said.

Honored one last time, as his coffin was carried from the church, a precision flyover, by the department's aviation unit.

(Copyright ©2014 WABC-TV/DT. All


Line Of Duty

Line of Duty Funeral


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