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New York • Thousands of firefighters from across the country have descended upon a narrow New York City avenue for the funeral of a fallen fire lieutenant.

Firefighters from St. Louis; Philadelphia; Boston; Monroe, Connecticut; and elsewhere lined up in uniform Thursday on Staten Island to honor Gordon "Matt" Ambelas (am-BEHL'-ihs).

Mayor Bill de Blasio is to deliver a eulogy at the small church on Staten Island.

The 14-year Fire Department of New York veteran died Saturday night from smoke inhalation and burns in a cluttered Brooklyn high-rise apartment.

He was the first firefighter to die in the line of duty in more than two years.

The 40-year-old leaves behind a wife and two small children.

Annapolis, Maryland, firefighter Stephen Taylor says firefighters are family, whether or not they know each other.

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