FDNY Chief who led Ground Zero recovery and died of 9/11 related cancer is laid to rest

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June 29, 2018

By: Mike Leventhal, APB Staff Reporter

In the chaotic days after the September 11 terror attacks in NYC, the FDNY relied on Chief Ronald Spadafora to lead the department’s rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site. The cancer caused by toxins he was exposed to at Ground Zero took his life this week.

The FDNY closed Fifth Avenue for a full honors funeral at St Peters Church.

Chief Spadafora, a 40-year veteran, worked tirelessly on the piles of wreckage on the grounds of the former Twin Towers, where he was the World Trade Center Chief of Safety for the entire recovery operation. FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro was leading the department in front of the church. Most recently the city’s chief of fire prevention.

“In his extraordinary career, he fought fires in all five boroughs, improved training for every FDNY member, and as the chief of fire prevention for the last eight years, Ron’s dedication and leadership led to greater safety and protection for millions of New Yorkers,” Nigro said.

Spadafora began his long and dedicated career as a firefighter at Engine 237 in Brooklyn in 1978. From there, he rose up the ranks, moving from borough to borough, until he became assistant chief for the bureau of fire prevention in July 2010, the FDNY said in a statement.

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