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Pinched cord may have sparked deadly Brooklyn fire

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

New York firefighters are mourning the death of a 40-year-old lieutenant killed when he became trapped on an upper floor of a Brooklyn public-housing high-rise.

Lt. Gordon Ambelas is the first to die in the line of duty in more than two years and 18th since 343 firefighters perished in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

FDNY spokesman Frank Gribbon says that Ambelas died after he became overcome by smoke while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building.

Fire officials said Sunday that a preliminary investigation showed a pinched electrical cord in a cluttered apartment started the blaze on the 19th floor.

Flames quickly spread to the 17th and 18th floors. Ambelas was among the first firefighters in the building.

Two other firefighters were treated at Bellevue Hospital for minor injuries. Two residents received treatment at the scene for minor injuries.

Ambelas was a married father of two daughters from Staten Island. He was honored last month for helping to save a 7-year-old boy who became trapped in a roll-down gate.

A fund for the education of Lt. Ambelas' two young daughters, ages 8 and 5, has been established.

Donations can be mailed to:

The FDNY Foundation

9 MetroTech Center

Brooklyn NY 11201.

Checks should be made to the "Ambelas Children's Education Fund" and mailed to the address above.

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