New York City mourns 'hero' firefighter

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NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City neighborhood is in mourning after the death of a firefighter recently hailed as a hero.

Purple and black bunting hangs from Lt. Gordon Ambelas' (ihm-BEHL'-ihs) Williamsburg, Brooklyn, firehouse.

That's were fellow firefighters and community leaders congregated Sunday to grieve together and share their remembrances of the 14-year veteran.

The 40-year-old Ambelas was overcome with smoke and flames while searching for possible victims Saturday in a cluttered apartment near the top of a public-housing high rise.

Firefighter, friend and former roommate Eric Bischoff says Ambelas "died a hero."

Ambelas helped the city through the recovery from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and Superstorm Sandy.

In May, he helped save 7-year-old Mendy Gotlieb, who became trapped in a roll-down gate.

Mendy's family says Ambelas was his "savior."

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