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Wake, funeral set for Joseph Sanford, Inwood firefighter who died in blaze

Joseph Sanford Jr., the critically injured Inwood firefighter

Joseph Sanford Jr., the critically injured Inwood firefighter who was pulled from the basement of a burning home early Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, has died, a fire official said.

The wake and funeral for Joseph Sanford Jr., an Inwood firefighter who died of injuries sustained while battling a house fire, will be held beginning Tuesday, officials said.

The wake will be Tuesday at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, on Wanser Avenue in Inwood, from 1 to 3 p.m. and from 6 to 9 p.m., according to the Inwood Fire Department.

The department will hold a service for its members at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the church, officials said.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Our Lady of Good Counsel. Burial will be at Greenfield Cemetery on Nassau Road in Uniondale at 10:30 a.m.

Sanford, 43, was a 17-year veteran of the department and a former assistant fire chief.

He also worked for the Nassau County Department of Public Works, and he was among more than 200 volunteers from at least a dozen departments who responded to an early morning blaze on Dec. 19 at a Woodmere home. The fire began in the basement and spread to the roof, Woodmere Fire Chief Leonard Cherson said at the time.

Firefighters from Woodmere, Lawrence-Cedarhurst, Hewlett and Inwood entered the home shortly after 4 a.m. and found that a section of the first floor had collapsed, Cherson said.

The firefighters were told to evacuate, but Sanford never made it out. He was discovered "by chance" in a debris-strewn basement by Hewlett volunteer firefighters, Cherson said.

Officials said the home had been recently renovated and the owners were staying at their Manhattan apartment at the time of the fire.

Sanford, who had been on a ventilator since the fire, died Tuesday at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset.

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