3 FDNY firefighters die from 9/11-related illnesses on same day

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Dan Heglund, Robert Leaver and Howard Bischoff all worked at Ground Zero after 9/11.

Dan Heglund, Robert Leaver and Howard Bischoff all worked at Ground Zero after 9/11.

NEW YORK (PIX11) — Three firefighters have died within hours of each other — all from illnesses related to their service during the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.

Firefighters Robert Leaver, Daniel Heglund, and Lt. Howard Bischoff died on Monday.

All three men were working at Ground Zero after the tragedy in recovery efforts.

The FDNY reports that first responders showed health problems soon after the attacks and that 99% of exposed firefighters reported at least one respiratory problem.

FDNY officials also recorded 850 firefighters and ambulance workers at the scene were diagnosed with cancer related to work at Ground Zero.

Fire officials as well as the FDNY union (Uniformed Fire Officers Association) President James Lemonda will discuss the three deaths during a press conference Thursday at noon.

Funeral Information:

  • For Lt. Howard "Howie" Bischoff: Saturday, 9/27/14 11:00am @ St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church (935 Bennetts Mills Road, NJ)
  • For Dan Heglund: Friday, 9/26/14 10:30 am (FIREMATIC SERVICE ONLY) @ Centerport FD (9 Park Place Centerport, NY)
  • For retired FF Robert Leaver: Friday, 9/26/14 10:00 am @ Saint Francis Assisi Roman Catholic Church (128 Parrott Rd Nyack, NY)


  • Regina

    Bobby Leaver – Best Neighbor ever in West Nyack. We moved in right before 9/11 and watched a healthy fit guy diminish so slowly til this past week. He put everyone first and kept quiet about how horrible he was feeling. Stand up guy. Those who know him, please take care of the love of his life Rosaria.

    • Melissa

      Horrible story that hit us hard. My heart goes out to the other firefighters’ families.

      Regina – thank you for your kind words. I can remember Uncle Bobby telling us often how fortunate he was to have fantastic neighbors. My Aunt Rosie is one of the most amazingly strong women I know, especially in hard times. We’re all heartbroken, but SO blessed to have had Bobby in our lives.

  • Kerrie

    My heart goes out to all three families. I lost my husband (NYPD) to a 9-11 illness 4 weeks ago. I understand your pain and send love and prayers your way.

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