Two FDNY firefighters have died of 9/11-related illnesses on the same day, nearly two decades after working at Ground Zero following the terror attack.
Firefighters Richard Jones, 63, and Paul Deo Jr., 74, died on Friday having both retired from the force soon after the 2001 atrocity at the Twin Towers in Manhattan.
Jones served for two decades, working Ladder 25 on the Upper West Side, he was awarded three acts of merit in his career in 1992 and 1997.
Deo, a Vietnam veteran and Marine, served for 33 years mostly in Queens. He was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2016 and had a lung transplant last year.
Deo’s son Michael told News 12 that his father had inspired him to become a firefighter.
World Trade Center funerals will be held for the men at Saint Joseph’s Church in Manhattan later this week.
The terrorist attack killed over 343 firefighters at Ground Zero, while Friday’s deaths bring the number of those to die of 9/11-related illnesses to 218.
Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a statement: ‘Nearly two decades later, our FDNY family continues to lose remarkable men and women who never wavered in their commitment to protecting life and property in our city. Our department will never forget them or the bravery they exuded throughout their careers.’
President Donald Trump last year signed a bill to inject $10.2 billion into the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which covers healthcare for thousands of emergency workers who were at Ground Zero.
A study last month in the National Cancer Institute revealed that workers exposed to the air at the terror attack have an increased risk of specific cancers, including leukemia and prostate cancer.