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Retired FDNY Chief Celebrates 100th Birthday

Retired Fire Chief John Nasta celebrated his 100th birthday on Wednesday, surrounded by family, friends and firefighters past and present.

"You just coast in after 99, you just coast," said Nasta.

Nasta retired from the FDNY as a fire chief 1976, long before many of the firefighters at his party were born. The FDNY recognized Nasta at his party with an FDNY hat and commemorative plaque.

"It means everything to me that he's recognized like this, because he should be," said Nasta's younger sister, Gloria Ward.

Nasta still lives at home with the help of caretakers. He starts his day with a multi-course breakfast, followed by a nap. He then normally has lunch at one of his favorite local spots, including Sofie Restaurant in Bay Ridge, which hosted his birthday party.

"He loves to have a glass of red wine and his Italian cheesecake, and then he has his espresso," said longtime friend Patricia McLaughlin-Haight.

Nasta's caretaker said he has a glass of wine every day an doesn't worry -- perhaps contributing to such a long life.

"Making it 100 years is a pretty amazing feat, especially coming out of the fire department, everything we go through," said FDNY Battalion Chief Thomas Ray.

"Forty-three years is a long time to spend doing one job and loving it and loving the people of this city," said McLaughlin-Haight.