A New York City fire chief who died of cancer linked to his work overseeing recovery efforts after the Sept. 11 terror attack is being remembered as a noble leader who embraced tough challenges.
Firefighters lined a Manhattan street on Friday as Ronald Spadafora's flag-draped body was carried out of his funeral on an aluminum stokes basket, like ones used in search-and-rescue missions.
Spadafora, diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in December 2015, died on June 23 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he was being treated. He was 63.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro hailed Spadafora's bravery and commitment. He continued to work while fighting cancer, most recently as assistant chief for the bureau of fire prevention.
The firefighters' union says more than 170 firefighters have died from 9/11-related illnesses.