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new york city

Firefighter dies in blaze

Electrical cord sparked the fire

  • Firefighters solemnly watch as other firefighters hang bunting over the firehouse in honor of Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of the lieutenant who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    Firefighters solemnly watch as other firefighters hang bunting over the firehouse in honor of Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of the lieutenant who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Signs commemorating Lt. Gordon Ambelas are displayed across the street from his firehouse in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    Signs commemorating Lt. Gordon Ambelas are displayed across the street from his firehouse in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Firefighters hug one another after hanging bunting over the firehouse in honor of Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    Firefighters hug one another after hanging bunting over the firehouse in honor of Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Firefighters on the ground watch as other firefighters hang bunting in honor of Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    Firefighters on the ground watch as other firefighters hang bunting in honor of Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Firefighters stand near a firehouse while talking to reporters about Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    Firefighters stand near a firehouse while talking to reporters about Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Firefighters comfort one another after bunting was hung in honor of Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    Firefighters comfort one another after bunting was hung in honor of Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • New York City firefighters work at the scene of a fire at public-housing high-rise early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night, July 5, after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    New York City firefighters work at the scene of a fire at public-housing high-rise early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night, July 5, after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • New York City firefighters work at the scene of a fire at public-housing high-rise building early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night, July 5, after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    New York City firefighters work at the scene of a fire at public-housing high-rise building early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night, July 5, after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • Emergency personnel from the New York City's fire and police departments work at the scene of a fire at a public-housing high-rise building early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night, July 5, after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    Emergency personnel from the New York City's fire and police departments work at the scene of a fire at a public-housing high-rise building early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night, July 5, after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • Emergency personnel from the New York City's fire and police departments work at the scene of a fire at public-housing high-rise building early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night, July 5, after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    Emergency personnel from the New York City's fire and police departments work at the scene of a fire at public-housing high-rise building early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night, July 5, after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • New YorkCity firefighters work at the scene of a fire at public-housing high-rise early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    New YorkCity firefighters work at the scene of a fire at public-housing high-rise early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • This photo taken on June 26, 2014, and released by the NYFD, shows Lt. Gordon Ambelas, who died at a hospital late Saturday night, July 5, 2014, after battling a blaze that broke out on an upper floor of a Brooklyn public-housing high-rise in New York. Two other firefighters were taken to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries, and two civilians were treated for minor injuries at area hospitals. (AP Photo/NYFD)

    This photo taken on June 26, 2014, and released by the NYFD, shows Lt. Gordon Ambelas, who died at a hospital late Saturday night, July 5, 2014, after battling a blaze that broke out on an upper floor of a Brooklyn public-housing high-rise in New York. Two other firefighters were taken to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries, and two civilians were treated for minor injuries at area hospitals. (AP Photo/NYFD)

  • Firefighters solemnly watch as other firefighters hang bunting over the firehouse in honor of Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of the lieutenant who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
  • Signs commemorating Lt. Gordon Ambelas are displayed across the street from his firehouse in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
  • Firefighters hug one another after hanging bunting over the firehouse in honor of Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
  • Firefighters on the ground watch as other firefighters hang bunting in honor of Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
  • Firefighters stand near a firehouse while talking to reporters about Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
  • Firefighters comfort one another after bunting was hung in honor of Lt. Gordon Ambelas in New York, Sunday, July 6, 2014. The Fire Department of New York is mourning the death of Ambelas, who became trapped while looking for victims in a public-housing high-rise blaze, the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years. Ambelas died Saturday after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
  • New York City firefighters work at the scene of a fire at public-housing high-rise early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night, July 5, after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
  • New York City firefighters work at the scene of a fire at public-housing high-rise building early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night, July 5, after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
  • Emergency personnel from the New York City's fire and police departments work at the scene of a fire at a public-housing high-rise building early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night, July 5, after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
  • Emergency personnel from the New York City's fire and police departments work at the scene of a fire at public-housing high-rise building early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night, July 5, after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
  • New YorkCity firefighters work at the scene of a fire at public-housing high-rise early Sunday, July 6, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A fire department spokesman says Lt. Gordon Ambelas died at Woodhull Medical Center late Saturday night after he was pulled from the building unconscious. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
  • This photo taken on June 26, 2014, and released by the NYFD, shows Lt. Gordon Ambelas, who died at a hospital late Saturday night, July 5, 2014, after battling a blaze that broke out on an upper floor of a Brooklyn public-housing high-rise in New York. Two other firefighters were taken to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries, and two civilians were treated for minor injuries at area hospitals. (AP Photo/NYFD)

A high-rise blaze that killed a New York City fire lieutenant started in a pinched electrical cord in a cluttered apartment, fire officials said yesterday, adding that the fire had been ruled accidental.

An airconditioner 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, fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a statement as investigators probed the conflagration responsible for the Fire Department of New York’s first line-of-duty death in more than two years.

“Though the cause and origin of the fire has been determined, the Department’s investigation remains ongoing,” Nigro added in a statement. A pinched electrical cord can fray or otherwise become damaged enough to spark a fire if it’s near combustible items, especially if heat builds up in a tight space.

Earlier yesterday, firefighters solemnly hung flag bunting at the Brooklyn firehouse where Ambelas had worked for the last several months of his 14-year career as residents returned to the building where he had died.

The fire broke out about 9:30 p.m. Saturday in the apartment, near the top of a 21-story building owned by the New York City Housing Authority. Flames spread to the 17th and 18th floors.

The apartment was crowded with belongings, making searches difficult, the fire department said.

“Ambelas went into the apartment to search for life and did not come out, and by the time his brother firefighters found him, it was too late for him,” Nigro said earlier yesterday.

Fellow firefighters found Ambelas unconscious and carried him out of the building. They worked with emergency rescuers to try to revive him, but he died at a hospital, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

“New York City and the FDNY suffered a terrible and tragic loss,” he said.

Two other firefighters and two residents were treated for minor injuries.

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