Valley Cottage firefighter laid to rest after battle with 9/11-related cancer

Posted: Updated:
NYACK -

Mourners said their final farewells Friday to Lt. Joseph Stach, a Valley Cottage resident and retired member of the FDNY who responded to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

He died of cancer on Jan. 7, relatives say.  It was likely related to his work at Ground Zero, where he was exposed to toxic chemicals for weeks. He was 51.

After retiring from his 20-year FDNY career, he continued to serve as a volunteer firefighter in Nyack.

"Joe was just an amazing volunteer," says Don Hammond, the mayor of Nyack. "This is such a loss for our whole village."

Stach is survived by a wife and five children.

And this is the second loss for Nyack's volunteer fire department in recent weeks. In December, David Jahnes died after responding to a call.

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