A veteran FDNY lieutenant died this morning when a ceiling collapsed on him as he battled a surging fire in a Staten Island home, officials said.
Lt. Robert Ryan's mask and air supply were knocked off by the falling debris, which sent him hurtling to the floor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Carried out by his fellow firefighters, an unconscious Ryan, 46, was rushed to Richmond University Medical Center but could not be revived.
Ryan, a 17-year-veteran of the FDNY, led the first unit of firefighters into the burning two-story home at 39 Van Buren St. in New Brighton at 12:32 a.m., less than four minutes after being dispatched.
Veteran FDNY lieutenant Robert Ryan dies heroically in Staten Island fire
Though fire marshals are still investigating what ignited the small blaze, FDNY officials said it appeared to have been sparked by wiring in the attic. It does not appear suspicious, officials said.
The woman who lives in the building was sleeping when the fire ignited, but she ran out safely after she was alerted by a neighbor who smelled the smoke.